Saint Pius X: Pope of the Eucharist
August 21st is the feast of Pope Saint Pius X (1835-1914), patron of communicants. Referred to as the “Pope of the Eucharist”, he advocated frequent Communion for adults, sacramental preparation for children, and instruction in catechism for everyone. The Eucharistic Congress of 1905 in Rome was held at his request.
Giuseppe Sarto was born June 2, 1835, the second of ten children to a poor family in the village of Riese, Province of Treviso, near Venice. His mother, Margherita Sanson, was a seamstress. His father, Giovanni Sarto, who was a cobbler by trade, the caretaker of the city hall, and the town’s postmaster, passed away when Giuseppe was 16.
Giuseppe entered the seminary at the age of 15 and was ordained at the age of 23. For nine years, he served as chaplain at Tombolo, having to assume most of the functions of parish priest, as the pastor was old and in poor health. He sought to prefect his knowledge of theology by studying Saint Thomas and canon law. He established a night school for adults, and devoted himself to pastoral ministry for 17 years. He became the bishop of Mantua, cardinal patriarch of Venice, and Pope in 1903. As Pope, he took as the motto of his reign “to renew all things in Christ.”
Pope Pius X reformed the liturgy, promoted clear and simple homilies, and brought Gregorian chant back. He reorganized the Roman curia, worked against the modern antagonism of the state against the Church. He helped to draft the New Code of Cannon law, issues in 1917. He encouraged Scripture reading by all the faithful.
Pope Pius X died on August 20, 1914 at Vatican City from natural causes aggravated by worries over the beginning of World War I and was buried under the altar of the Chapel of the Presentation, Saint Peter’s basilica.
Saint Pius X Quotes
“Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven.”
“I was born poor, I have lived poor, I wish to die poor.”
“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 counsel, I shall not be deceived. His Goodness is infinite, and if my trust is stayed in Him, I shall not be abandoned.”
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.”
“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. “
Prayer to Saint Pius X
Glorious Pope of the Eucharist, Saint Pius X, you sought “to resore all things in Christ.” Obtain for me a true love of Jesus so that I may live only for Him. Help me to acquire a lively fervor and a sincere will to strive for sanctity of life, and that I may avail myself of the riches of the Holy Eucharist in sacrifice and sacrament. By your love for Mary, mother and queen of all, inflame my heart with tender devotion to her.
Blessed model of the priesthood, obtain for us holy, dedicated priests, and increase vocations to the religious life. Dispel confusion and hatred and anxiety, and incline our hearts to peace and concord. so that all nations will place themselves under the sweet reign of Christ. Amen.
Saint Pius X, pray for me.