Monday, September 03, 2007


... Pope of the Blessed Sacrament, born 2 June 1835 at Riese, diocese of Treviso, Venice, Austria (now Italy) as Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, elected 4 August 1903; installed 9 August 1903

Son of Giambattista Sarto, a village cobbler, and Margherita Sanson. Lived an impoverished childhood as one of eight children. Baptized on 3 June 1835. Confirmed on 1 September 1848. Felt a calling to the priesthood from his youth. Studied at the seminary of Padua, 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, taking the name Pius X.

Pope Pius X issued decrees on early (age 7 instead of 12 or 14 as previously) and frequent Communion, 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. He also revised the Breviary, and teaching of the Catechism. He tirelessly fought Modernism, which he denounced as "the summation of all heresies", reorganized the Roman curia, the administrative elements of the Church. He worked against the modern antagonism of the state against the Church and initiated the codification of canon law. He also promoted Bible reading by all the faithful and supported foreign missions. His will read: "I was born poor; I lived poor; I wish to die poor."

Text adopted from Catholic Forum

For all those who would like to read more about St Pius X, please go to the link below to enjoy Prof. Plinio Oliveira's beautiful essay: Pope PiusX