Thursday 30th July 2015

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:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Jamestown Excavation Unearths Four Bodies and a Possible Catholic Reliquary

Could a mysterious box unearthed in historic Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in North America, point to a Catholic connection with the foundation of the United States of America? While Spanish and Portuguese exploration, settlement and conquest of…Continue Reading

Catholic officials, others react to Boy Scouts’ decision to allow openly gay leaders

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The top leaders of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting have made an uneasy peace with the Boy Scouts of America’s decision July 27 to allow openly gay troop leaders and employees to serve in their ranks…Continue Reading

The Remnant REALLY? . . . Is This How We Support Fellow Catholics Battling A Cause We Should All Be Behind?

Planned Parenthood Hires PR Firm to Run Damage Control After It’s Exposed Selling Aborted Babies

The Planed Parenthood abortion business is so desperate to put out the public relations fires that have developed in the wake of it being caught numerous times selling the body parts of aborted babies that it has hired a top…Continue Reading

More than Half of Young Catholic Families Are Latino Despite Recent Decline

More than half of young Catholic families (53 percent) identify themselves as Latino or Hispanic compared with 32 percent of all Catholics, according to a recent survey. Could the presence of Hispanic families in the Catholic Church indicate Latino congregational…Continue Reading

New York Catholic churches closing after decades of service

Parishioners in New York are losing their churches as the Catholic Archdiocese carries out an aggressive consolidation plan. The cuts are driven by declining membership, fiscal insolvency of churches, and fewer priests, according to church officials. While there are 2.8…Continue Reading

Kenyan President to Obama: You Will not Impose The ‘Gay Rights’ Agenda In Kenya

We need to speak frankly about these things” says President Kenyatta in response to Obama’s statement that Kenya must share the same values as the United States on sodomite rights issues. Kenyatta, at the press conference this morning in Kenya,…Continue Reading

Nancy Pelosi: Ignore Planned Parenthood Selling Aborted Babies, Investigate Pro-Lifers

nancyp

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has no interest in digging deeper into the revelations that the Planned Parenthood abortion business is selling the body part of aborted babies Instead, she wants the Obama administration to investigate the pro-life activists who…Continue Reading

Carly Fiorina to Planned Parenthood: You Deny Ultrasounds to Show Women Life Within Them, but Use Ultrasounds to Preserve Organs of Their Dead Babies

Venezuela’s bishops caution against the adoption of no-fault divorce

The Venezuelan bishops last week warned that marriage and families in their nation will be weakened as a result of a court decision ruling that spouses can divorce without any evidence of wrongdoing on either’s part , Christian Telegraph reports…Continue Reading

Rationing? Obamacare Health Care Plans Have 34 Percent Fewer Doctors, Hospitals

According to the Washington Examiner, a new study reveals that Obamacare plans have 34% fewer doctors and hospitals than other health insurance plans. The information was released today by Avalere Heath and proves that exchange networks actually provide fewer heart…Continue Reading

Cdl. Vincent Nichols to Expand LGBT Ministry

WESTMINSTER, July 21, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) – Cardinal Vincent Nichols, president of the Catholic bishops conference of England and Wales, is pushing to expand the Church’s ministry to those in the LGBT community. Monsignor Keith Barltrop, parish priest of St. Mary…Continue Reading

Newsmax

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 su
bscribe 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

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

Today . . .

Late Cardinal Played Key Role in Catholic Ed. in Lead-up to Ex corde Ecclesiae

July 29, 2015, at 12:10 PM  |  By Justin Petrisek  | Cardinal William Baum, one of the principal players in the formative years of Pope St. John Paul II’s constitution on Catholic higher education, Ex corde Ecclesiae, has passed away at the age of 88 after a long illness, according to Catholic News Service. He died on July 23 in Washington, D.C., at a residence run by the Little Sisters of the Poor. “Cardinal Baum…Continue Reading

A blessing to one another: John Paul II and the Jewish People

jp2

Vatican City, 28 July 2015 (VIS) – “A blessing to one another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People” is the title of an exhibition opening today in the Vatican (Charlemagne Wing, 29 July to 17 September), previously displayed in a number of state capitals in the U.S.A., where it received more than a million visitors. The exhibition, presented as a gift to John Paul II for his 85th birthday, was inaugurated at the Xavier…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Multiply good works like the loaves and fishes

pope113

(Vatican Radio) Before the recitation of the Marian Prayer before the faithful in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis recalled Sunday’s Gospel about the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes. The Pope explained that “Jesus satisfies not only material hunger, but the most profound of hungers, the hunger for meaning in life, the hunger for God.” He went on to say that  “in the face of suffering, loneliness, poverty and difficulties of so many people,…Continue Reading

How PPFA Manipulates Women Into “Donating” Their Babies’ Organs

By DAVE ANDRUSKO (Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission from National Right to Life News Today, July 15, 2015. All rights reserved.) + + + We’ve discussed at some length a shocking hidden-camera video in which two undercover investigators are shown discussing with a high-ranking PPFA official how these supposed “procurers” of fetal tissue could work with Planned Parenthood affiliates to harvest intact baby body parts. I would also like to talk about…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Homosexuality And The Church Crisis”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For electronic copies of previous articles on homosexual “marriage,” the special rights agenda and the role of homosexuality in the Church crisis, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “Facts are stubborn things,…Continue Reading

Defend The Little Sisters Of The Poor — And American Liberty

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate distributes his column. All rights reserved.) + + + No group in the United States today is making a stronger stand for liberty than the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Catholic nuns dedicated to running nursing…Continue Reading

Aggressive Obama, Passive National GOP . . . Is Third-Party Option Starting To Look Better?

By DEXTER DUGGAN House Speaker John Boehner said the recently released sting video of a national Planned Parenthood official at lunch, munching away and chatting about how to “crush” unborn babies to harvest their organs for money, was “disgusting.” Republican Boehner finally seemed to have found his voice in a Washington where he usually blends…Continue Reading

Is This What Determines Our Position On Common Core?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK The mail that we receive at First Teachers is overwhelmingly opposed to Common Core, the federal government’s effort to establish education standards for the country. Certain of our correspondents object to what they see as a liberal bias in Common Core’s curriculum, while others object to what they believe are confusing…Continue Reading

When Trump Talks, People Should Listen

By REY FLORES How many of you recall the old E.F. Hutton television commercials where everyone on an airplane would stop and listen to one man when he says, “My broker is E.F. Hutton, and E.F. Hutton says….” The voiceover would then state: “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.” Donald Trump can do the same…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Our Journey Through The Desert

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Nineteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: 1 Kings 19:4-8 Eph. 4:30-5:2 John 6:41-51 In the second reading today St. Paul instructs us to do nothing that will grieve the Holy Spirit. In his brief list of offenses that would grieve the Holy Spirit, St. Paul includes bitterness, fury, anger, reviling, shouting, and all malice.…Continue Reading

Obergefell V. Hodges . . . “To Sin By Silence . . . Makes Cowards Of Men”

By FR. PETER MITCHELL (Editor’s Note: Fr. Peter Mitchell is the pastor of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Greenville, Wis. He gave this homily on the 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time, June 28 — two days after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.) + + + “To sin by silence when they…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Like Love, Assent To Faith Is A Matter Of The Will

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Reaction to my column last week titled “Where Is There Room to Disagree With Jesus? In Hell!” included the following note from a Facebook follower. Kim wrote, “Perhaps the question posed to you was not worded correctly. How about this onea. . . . Is there a line where Catholic teachings are not something Catholics…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . Why Is The Gospel Message Unique Among Religions?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 12 In this series of articles on apologetics, we have followed a logical sequence, moving from the simpler to the more complex. So, first we saw how it makes sense that truth is objective, and not subjective; that is, our minds do not create the truth, they learn it, discover it, and grasp it from…Continue Reading

The Four Marks Of The Church — Catholicity

By DON FIER Part 3 As we continued to examine the third mark of the Church last week, that she is catholic (or universal), we saw that all mankind is called to belong to the one true Church, the new People of God. Christ’s clear mandate to His apostles was to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Martha

By CAROLE BRESLIN A popular pilgrimage among the Catholics of southern France takes visitors to the Grotte de la Sainte-Baume, located in the hills of Provence about 20 miles east of the port of Marseilles. To reach this holy site, the driver must cover miles of winding, ascending roads to the foot of the mountain. Then the pilgrim ascends a…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bridget

By CAROLE BRESLIN One of St. Teresa of Calcutta’s most quoted sayings would fit with this column’s saint, “God hasn’t called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.” What encouraging words for anyone seeking to do God’s will, knowing that the cross, the setbacks, and the obstacles are all part of working for the Kingdom of…Continue Reading