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And today we celebrate...

Monday, August 21
Pope St. Pius X

Died of a broken heart, unable to prevent WWI

PIUS-X
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1835-1914, pope from 1903

His life

+ Giuseppe Sarto was born in the Province of Venice in 1835. After his ordination, he exercised his priestly ministry with distinction, always at the service of the spiritual and physical needs of his people.

+ He was named bishop of Mantua and, later, cardinal-patriarch of Venice before being elected pope in 1903. He took the name Pius X and the motto To Renew All Things in Christ.

+ As pope, Pius sought to fulfill the ideal of his motto through his stand against Modernism and a reform of the Church’s prayer.

+ A man of simplicity, poverty, and courage, he constantly fought to defend the rights of the Church.

+ Pope Pius X died on August 20, 1914, it is said, of a broken heart caused by the outbreak of World War I, which he had worked tirelessly to prevent.

+ Pope Saint Pius X was canonized in 1954.

Worth knowing

Among the great contributions of Pope Pius X was his insistence that Catholics be free to receive the Eucharist regularly. This was a marked change from previous centuries when Catholics would often only receive the Eucharist once a year or, sometimes, even less frequently. Pope Pius also lowered the age of First Communion to around the age of 7.

Quote

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

Prayer

O God, who to safeguard the Catholic faith
and to restore all things in Christ,
filled Pope Saint Pius the Tenth
with heavenly wisdom and apostolic fortitude,
graciously grant
that, following his teaching and example,
we may gain an eternal prize.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(The Roman Missal)

~

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

Access our archives of daily saint biographies here
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