Saturday 20th December 2014

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes . . . Pope St. Pius X

August 19, 2014 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

This month the Catholic Church celebrates the 100th anniversary of the death of Pope St. Pius X who had so many things in common with the last few Popes. Like Pope Francis, he had a special affinity for the poor — especially since he came from a poor family. Like Pope John Paul II, who updated the Code of Canon Law, Pope Pius X initiated the organization of all of canon law into one Code for the universal Church. Like Pope Benedict XVI, he fought the errors of modernism, stressing the importance of faith and reason.
On June 3, 1835, Giovanni Battista Sarto and his wife, Margherita, took their day-old son, Giuseppe Melchiorre, to the church in Riese to be baptized. He was the second of ten children born to the simple cobbler who also served as postmaster; his wife was a seamstress.
Because of the family’s poverty, the local priest took young Giuseppe under his wing to educate him. Since Giuseppe excelled so quickly and demonstrated such piety, the pastor arranged a scholarship for the lad at Castelfranco, about eight kilometers from his home. He walked this distance twice daily, carrying his shoes over his shoulders so that they would not wear out too quickly. Only when he arrived at school did he wear them.
The bishop of Treviso gave him his “tonsure” at the age of 15, inducting him into the seminary of Padua, where he continued to pursue classical, philosophical, and theological studies. By the time he was ordained on September 18, 1858 at the cathedral in Castelfranco, his father had passed away.
Giuseppe was appointed to be curate at Tombolo, during which time he continued to study St. Thomas Aquinas and canon law on his own. He performed his duties so well that the pastor told people that he learned from Giuseppe rather than Giuseppe learning from him. He loved serving the poor. He also started night classes for the catechesis of adults and organized a choir, teaching its members the finer points of Gregorian Chant.
The pastor remarked, “Someday he will wear the miter, of that I am sure. After that, who knows?”
In 1867 he became archpriest of Salzano, working to restore the church, educate the parishioners, and expand the hospital. He himself worked to pay for the hospital by begging, laboring, and providing funds from his personal savings. When the cholera plague of the 1870s swept through northern Italy, he worked among the sick and dying to care for them.
After nine years at Salzano, he left to serve as canon at the cathedral of Treviso, providing spiritual direction, presiding as rector of the seminary, and as examiner of priests. Once again he also focused on catechesis for both youth and adults, in the country and the city.
Giuseppe taught dogmatic and moral theology until Pope Leo XIII sought his appointment as bishop of Mantua in 1884. Because of his lack of higher education, Giuseppe requested a papal dispensation which the Pope refused. As a result, when he became Pius X, he was the last Pope who did not have a doctorate.
Nine years later — though he was named a cardinal, the civil government opposed the appointment — he took office as patriarch of Venice and cardinal priest of San Bernardo alle Terme. He worked tirelessly once again, performing charitable works, forming the clergy, and educating the adults and children under his care.
Ten more years passed and then he was elected Pope on August 4, 1903. He declined not only because he felt unworthy but because he was also saddened by the Austro-Hungarian veto which secular authorities were able to exercise at the time. Finally, on August 9, 1903, he was installed taking the motto, “To restore all things in Christ.”
Like Pope Francis, he simplified the routine activities of the Pope by cutting down on the numerous ceremonies, wearing a simple metal cross rather than a gold one, and refusing to make his sisters “papal countesses,” saying, “I have made them sisters of the Pope; what more can I do for them?”
He continued to walk around the city, carrying candy for poor children. The courtyard of San Damaso became the site of various catechism classes. The Pope also insisted that the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine be set up in every parish.
One of his most memorable accomplishments was promoting frequent reception of Confession and daily reception of Holy Communion, and reducing the age for First Holy Communion to seven or the age of reason. In addition, he issued the encyclical Ad Diem Illum, to restore all things in Christ through Mary. The encyclical explains that since all the faithful are members of the Mystical Body of Christ, Mary is our mother since she is also the Mother of the Body of Christ. On November 22, 1903, he issued the motu proprio Tra le sollecitudini, reaffirming the primacy of Gregorian Chant over classical and Baroque compositions, and barring the use of some instruments, including the piano and drums.
Remembering the problems of the veto of his election, Pius X sought to reduce the power of the secular governments over the operations of the Catholic Church. In 1905 the Church broke relations with France. When he issued a proclamation limiting mixed marriages, this had repercussions throughout Ireland, Poland, Ethiopia, England, and Russia.
On the political front, he partly lifted the prohibitions on Italian Catholics voting, thereby allowing Catholics to vote for government officials, but he never recognized the Italian government.
The many documents he issued as Pope sought to restore orthodox belief as well as devotion among the clergy and the laity, reforming the breviary and emphasizing the Holy Eucharist, writing, “Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven.”
He fought modernism with its promulgation of relativism, skepticism, and rationalism. He refused to accept that the Church had to adapt to modern times, affirming that Truth does not change, only the methods of communicating that same Truth.
Like Pope Benedict XVI who came one hundred years later, he said that there must be a marriage between faith and reason.
In 1904 he began the first-ever universal collection and synthesis of the Code of Canon Law. However, he was so heartbroken over the outbreak of World War I that he died on August 20, 1914 before it was published (on May 27, 1917).
Up until his death, the protocol was to remove the organs of the deceased Pope for embalming. Pope Pius X forbade that any of his organs be removed from his body, thus changing what had been the practice up to this time.
Pope St. Pius X was canonized on May 29, 1954, with his feast day assigned to August 21. A champion of sacred music, sound catechesis, and the importance of faith and reason, he lights the way “to restore all things in Christ.”
Dear Pope St. Pius X, with so many errors being promoted in both our culture and the Church, guide us. May we read, study, and implement what you have written that is so relevant for our times. By following your example, may we, too, restore all things in Christ. Amen.

+    +    +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Cardinal Burke . . . “The Church depends on sound Catholic family life, and it depends on sound Catholic families.”

An Interview with Cardinal Burke  On Vatican II Q. Your Eminence, you grew up before the Second Vatican Council. How do you remember those times? A. I grew up in a very beautiful time in the Church, in which we…Continue Reading

Did Pope Francis really say all dogs go to heaven? UPDATED

That nice man, Pope Francis, says you get to see your pets again in Heaven. But Pope Benedict is a mean old Grinch who wants to remove the animals from your Nativity scene Christmas decorations. Oh, really? Please don’t believe…Continue Reading

Catholic Church in Australia links celibacy to child abuse

By Jonathan Pearlman, Sydney, and Nick Squires in Rome 8:04PM GMT 12 Dec 2014 Priests’ vows of celibacy may have led to paedophilia, the Roman Catholic Church in Australia has said, in what is believed to be the first such…Continue Reading

Pope Calls For More ‘Integration’ Of Divorced Catholics, Gays

By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis said that the Catholic Church must consider various ways to integrate the divorced and civilly remarried in the life of the church — not merely allowing them…Continue Reading

‘I’m not worried’ about resistance, Pope Francis says in new interview

Vatican City, Dec 7, 2014 / 11:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In an interview with the Argentine daily “La Nacion” published Sunday, Pope Francis spoke on a variety of topics, giving specific attention to the ongoing reform of the Roman Curia,…Continue Reading

Catholic Church Severs Ties with Agency over Gay Adoption Ruling

The Catholic Church in Northern Ireland is pulling the plug on a long-standing relationship with the Family Care Society, a Catholic adoption agency, after a judge ruled that all adoption services must be willing to place children with same-sex couples…Continue Reading

Reaction to Chicago archbishop’s remarks on pro-abort pols receiving Communion

n a radical departure from the position of Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Blase Cupich – said to have been handpicked by Pope Francis for Chicago – has presented giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians as a positive move. Asked Sunday…Continue Reading

Pope Francis dodges reporter’s question on treatment of homosexuality in Synod’s controversial mid-term report

Since the conclusion of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, reporters around the world have been wondering where Pope Francis stands on the controversial language about homosexuality in the mid-term Synod report.  The opportunity to ask the pope…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cupich Says Yes to Communion for Pro-Abortion Politicians

In October of last year veteran Italian journalist Sandro Magister wrote of the new path that many believed the Church was embarking upon. Magister observed: “In Italy, but not only there, it was the cardinal and Jesuit Carlo Maria Martini…Continue Reading

Francis calls for a change mentality in the Church, easier homilies and flexible times

Francis addresses participants of the International Pastoral Congress on the World’s Big Cities: “Go out and facilitate”, don’t be afraid of multicultural contexts or of proclaiming Jesus DOMENICO AGASSO JR ROME Francis was honest from the start: “I don’t want…Continue Reading

Chaput: It Isn’t Possible To Be Pro-life And Simultaneously Forget The Cries Of The Poor

Interview with the Archbishop of Philadelphia who is preparing to receive the Pope for the World Meeting of Families in September 2015: defending the unborn child is a vital part of the social doctrine of the Church. We need to…Continue Reading

Homosexual Activist Organization in New York Receives Catholic Grant

Washington, DC—The Lepanto Institute issued a report exposing the activities of an organization which received a $35,000 grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).  According to the report, the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC) launched its…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Pope Francis: The Church Is Not An Entrepreneur But A Mother

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis said on Friday that there is much sterility within the Church and the people of God, a sterility that comes from power and egoism.  The Church, he stressed, is a mother and not an entrepreneur. His remarks came during his homily at morning Mass celebrated at the Santa Marta residence. The Pope’s reflections on the themes…Continue Reading

General Audience: Jesus Chose To Come To The World As Part Of A family

POPE700

Vatican City, 17 December 2014 (VIS) – The family is the “great gift that the Lord has given to the world ever since the beginning, when he entrusted to Adam and Eve the mission of multiplying and filling the earth; the gift that Jesus confirmed and sealed in His Gospel”, said the Holy Father during this Wednesday’s general audience, in…Continue Reading

Happy Birthday, Pope Francis!

pope693

(Vatican Radio) There was a festive atmosphere at the weekly General Audience on Wednesday, as Pope Francis celebrated his 78th birthday. As he made his way through the crowds, Pope Francis stopped by a group of seminarians from the Legion of Christ, who offered him a birthday cake, complete with lighted candles. The Holy Father also took the opportunity to…Continue Reading

Pope Francis Recalls His 1st Communion, Says to Remember Catechists

Rome, December 15, 2014 (Zenit.org) Staff Reporter On a visit to a Roman parish Sunday evening, the Pope had lively discussions with various groups from the congregation, including children preparing to receive their First Communion. He told them about his own First Communion 70 years ago. On his arrival at the parish of Saint Joseph all’Aurelio, in the western sector…Continue Reading

Archbishop Of Karachi . . . Says “The Taliban Will Stop At Nothing Now”

By JOHN PONTIFEX LONDON (ACN News) — Innocent people in Pakistan — young and old alike — are now at increased risk of terrorist attack, according to the leader of the country’s Catholics, who has called on the government to step up security in the wake of the Peshawar school massacre. Archbishop Joseph Coutts of…Continue Reading

Ten Complacent Maxims

By DONALD DeMARCO Mark Strand, Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. poet laureate, passed away recently (November 29, 2014). He was a staunch atheist, declaring that he had never met God and had never been to Heaven. He said: “Although there are a lot of people claiming that God is telling them what to do,…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Abortifacient Brief: Depo-Provera”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 2 of The Facts of Life, “Abortifacients,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + Depo-Provera is an injectable contraceptive drug that sometimes has an abortifacient effect. It also possesses…Continue Reading

An Advent Reflection . . . The Very Visible Sin Of Gluttony

By REY FLORES Ever since I can remember, I have always had a problem with the fluctuation of my weight. As a child, my nickname was “Gordo,” which means fat in Spanish. I wasn’t bothered when my own family called me that, but it did bother me when the other school kids would make fun…Continue Reading

Gosnell Filmmakers Reopen Crowdfunding Campaign

By LISA BOURNE (LifeSiteNews) — The producers of the forthcoming Kermit Gosnell “House of Horrors” movie are reopening their crowdfunding campaign after Indiegogo changed its rules to allow campaigns without a deadline. Magdalena Segieda, Phelim McAleer, and Ann McElhinney surpassed their previous crowdfunding goal of $2.1 million earlier this year, and the Indiegogo fundraising site…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Questions And Answers About Christmas Q. Do we know the exact year in which Jesus was born? A. No, we do not. In the sixth century, a monk named Dionysius Exiguus drew up a calendar that fixed the birth of Christ in the Roman year 753, but scholars today agree that Dionysius miscalculated by a few years. So it is…Continue Reading

The Law Of The Lord

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Feast Of The Holy Family (YR B) Readings: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14 Col. 3:12-21 Luke 2: 22-40 Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. In a particular way this refers to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. However, it also refers to all families that are striving to live according to the ways of holiness and truth.…Continue Reading

Pope’s Message For World Day of Peace . . . “No Longer Slaves, But Brothers”

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — Here is the text of Pope Francis’ message for the 48th World Day of Peace, which is celebrated on January 1, 2015. For a text with footnotes, go to www.zenit.org. + + + At the beginning of this New Year, which we welcome as God’s gracious gift to all humanity, I offer heartfelt wishes of peace…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . True Joy Awards Intense Preparation For Christmas

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK With the arrival of these days of late Advent, we have already journeyed through the Solemnity of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception and Gaudete, or joy, Sunday. We have taken the opportunity to deepen our love and devotion for our heavenly Mother in celebrating the singular prevenient grace of God that equipped her unique preparation for…Continue Reading

Debunking The Sola Scriptura Myth… Summing Up

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 8 According to Sacred Scripture itself, the Bible is not, and was never meant to be, the only source of divine Revelation and sole rule of faith. Jesus neither wrote anything Himself nor commanded anybody to write. On the contrary, He commanded the apostles to preach, viva voce. He commanded the apostles to preach…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Urban V

By CAROLE BRESLIN The year 1309 marked the beginning of the Avignon papacy, under Pope Clement V, who was French. The Popes of Avignon built a papal palace, increasing it in size over the next 70 years. The first crack in the control of the papacy by the French began when Pope Urban V left Avignon to reside in Rome…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Sabbas

By CAROLE BRESLIN Silence. Quiet. The search for peace, serenity, and calm has led many in today’s world to take up Yoga, Eastern mysticism, or life in remote areas to escape the noise of our modern world. This is not a modern quest. The quest for quiet has been with man for millennia. Although St. Anthony the Great (died 356)…Continue Reading

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading