St Pius X, Pope – 21 Aug
Son of Giambattista Sarto, a village cobbler, and Margherita Sanson, living an impoverished childhood as one of eight children. Baptized on 3 June 1835. Confirmed on 1 September 1848. He early felt a calling to the priesthood. Studied at the seminary of Padua, Italy, and was known as an exceptional student. Ordained by Blessed Giovanni Antonio Farina on 18 September 1858. Chaplain at Tombolo from 1858 to 1867. Archpriest of Salzano from 1867 to 1875. Canon of the Treviso cathedral chapter in 1875. Rector of the Treviso seminary and its spiritual director for nine years. Primicerius of the cathedral in 1879. Chancellor of the diocese of Treviso. Vicar capitular from December 1879 to June 1880. Bishop of Mantua, Italy on 10 November 1884. Assistant at the Pontifical Throne on 19 June 1891. Created cardinal–priest of Saint Bernardo alle Terme on 12 June 1893. Patriarch of Venice on 15 June 1893. Chosen 257th pope in 1903, taking the name Pius X.
Issued decrees on early Communion (age 7 instead of 12 or 14 as previously). Destroyed the last vestiges of Jansenism by advocating frequent and even daily Communion. Reformed the liturgy, promoted clear and simple homilies, and brought Gregorian chant back to services. Revised the Breviary, and teaching of the Catechism. Fought Modernism, which he denounced as “the summation of all heresies“. Reorganized the Roman curia, and the other administrative elements of the Church. Worked against the modern antagonism of the state against the Church. Initiated the codification of canon law. Promoting Bible reading by all the faithful. Supported foreign missions. His will read: “I was born poor; I lived poor; I wish to die poor.”
He was born on 2 June 1835 at Riese, Treviso, Austria (now Italy) as Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto and died on 21 August 1914 at Vatican City from natural causes aggravated by worries over the beginning of World War 1. He is buried under the altar of the Chapel of the Presentation, St Peter’s Basilica.
Truly we are passing through disastrous times, when we may well make our own the lamentation of the Prophet: “There is no truth, and there is no mercy, and there is no knowledge of God in the land” (Hosea 4:1). Yet in the midst of this tide of evil, the Virgin Most Merciful rises before our eyes like a rainbow, as the arbiter of peace between God and man. – Pope Saint Pius X
God could have given us the Redeemer of the human race, and the Founder of the Faiths in another way than through the Virgin, but since Divine Providence has been pleased that we should have the Man-God through Mary, who conceived Him by the Holy Spirit and bore Him in her womb, it only remains for us to receive Christ from the hands of Mary. – Pope Saint Pius X
My hope is in Christ, who strengthens the weakest by His Divine help. I can do all in Him who strengthens me. His Power is infinite, and if I lean on him, it will be mine. His Wisdom is infinite, and if I look to Him for counsel, I shall not be deceived. His Goodness is infinite, and if my trust is stayed in Him, I shall not be abandoned. – Pope Saint Pius X
Let the storm rage and the sky darken – not for that shall we be dismayed. If we trust as we should in Mary, we shall recognize in her, the Virgin Most Powerful “who with virginal foot did crush the head of the serpent.” – Pope Saint Pius X
Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven. – Pope Saint Pius X