st.Pius X-Pope

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st.Pius X-Pope

Feast Day : August 21




Patronage: Pilgrims




Also known as: Joseph Sarto, Pope of the Blessed Sacrament



Giuseppe Mechiorre Sarto, who was to become Pope Pius X, was born on June 2, 1835, at Riesi (Riese), Treviso, in Austrian-controlled Venice. His was a poor family, but Giuseppe took Latin lessons from the archpriest of Riesi, then studied for four years at the gymnasium of Castelfranco Veneto. In 1850, he received a scholarship to the seminary in Padua, where he completed his studies in classics, philosophy and theology with distinction. After his ordination in 1858, he spent nine years as a chaplain at Tombolo; but the parish priest was old and an invalid, and Giuseppe had to assume most of his duties. He studied canon law assiduously, established a night school for adult students and in 1867 he was named archpriest of Salzano, a large borough of the diocese of Treviso. In 1875, he became a canon of the cathedral there. In 1878, upon the death of Bishop Zanelli, he was elected vicar-capitular. An even more prestigious position followed in November 1884, when he was elected bishop of Mantua. Then in June 1893, at a secret consistory, Leo XIII (r. 1878–1903) created him cardinal under the title San Bernardo alle Terme; in the public consistory three days later, he named him patriarch of Venice. However, Giuseppe had to wait 19 months before taking possession of his new diocese because the Italian government refused to recognize his appointment. Leo XIII died at the end of July 1903, and on August 4, Giuseppe was elected his successor. At his coronation on August 8, he assumed the name Pius X. As pope, Pius continued to promote the doctrine and method of St. Thomas and to battle against what he considered the Modernist heresy. Pius gave particular attention to the Eucharist, recommending that the First Communion of children not be delayed after they reached the age of discretion, advising all healthy Catholics to take Communion frequently—daily, if possible—and lifting the injunction on the sick to fast so that they, too, could participate. He embraced the Immaculate Conception and enjoined Marian devotion. He promoted sacred music, published a new catechism for the diocese of Rome and, most important, produced a new codification of Canon Law that separated the juridical from the administrative. Pius died on August 20, 1914, of natural causes aggravated by worries over the beginning of World War I. In his will we find the words: “I was born poor; I lived poor; I wish to die poor.”

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