Pope Pius X
Overview
 
Pope Saint Pius X (2 June 1835 – 20 August 1914), born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, was the 257th Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 of the Catholic Church, serving from 1903 to 1914. He was the first pope since Pope Pius V
Pope Pius V
Pope Saint Pius V , born Antonio Ghislieri , was Pope from 1566 to 1572 and is a saint of the Catholic Church. He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, and the standardization of the Roman liturgy within the Latin Church...

 to be canonized
Canonization
Canonization is the act by which a Christian church declares a deceased person to be a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the canon, or list, of recognized saints. Originally, individuals were recognized as saints without any formal process...

. Pius X rejected modernist
Modernism (Roman Catholicism)
Modernism refers to theological opinions expressed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but with influence reaching into the 21st century, which are characterized by a break with the past. Catholic modernists form an amorphous group. The term "modernist" appears in Pope Pius X's 1907...

 interpretations of Catholic doctrine, promoting traditional devotional practices and orthodox theology. His most important reform was to publish the first Code of Canon Law, which collected the laws of the Church into one volume for the first time.
Encyclopedia
Pope Saint Pius X (2 June 1835 – 20 August 1914), born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, was the 257th Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 of the Catholic Church, serving from 1903 to 1914. He was the first pope since Pope Pius V
Pope Pius V
Pope Saint Pius V , born Antonio Ghislieri , was Pope from 1566 to 1572 and is a saint of the Catholic Church. He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, and the standardization of the Roman liturgy within the Latin Church...

 to be canonized
Canonization
Canonization is the act by which a Christian church declares a deceased person to be a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the canon, or list, of recognized saints. Originally, individuals were recognized as saints without any formal process...

. Pius X rejected modernist
Modernism (Roman Catholicism)
Modernism refers to theological opinions expressed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but with influence reaching into the 21st century, which are characterized by a break with the past. Catholic modernists form an amorphous group. The term "modernist" appears in Pope Pius X's 1907...

 interpretations of Catholic doctrine, promoting traditional devotional practices and orthodox theology. His most important reform was to publish the first Code of Canon Law, which collected the laws of the Church into one volume for the first time. He was a pastoral pope, encouraging personal piety and a lifestyle reflecting Christian values. He was born in the town of Riese
Riese Pio X
Riese Pio X is a municipality in northeast Italy located in the province of Treviso in the Region of Veneto. The community's name, much like that of Sotto il Monte Giovanni XXIII, commemorates its most famous son, Giuseppe Sarto, who later became Pope Pius X . As of 2007 Riese had an estimated...

, which would later append "Pio X" (Pius X's name in Italian) to the town's name.

Pius was particularly devoted to Mary; his encyclical Ad Diem Illum
Ad Diem Illum
Ad diem Illum Laetissimum is an encyclical of Saint Pope Pius X on the Immaculate Conception, Given at Rome in St. Peter's on the second day of February, 1904, in the first year of his Pontificate. It is issued in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the dogma of the Immaculate conception...

expresses his desire through Mary to renew all things in Christ, which he had defined as his motto in his first encyclical. Pius believed that there is no surer or more direct road than by the Virgin Mary to achieve this goal. Pius X was the only Pope in the 20th century with extensive pastoral experience at the parish level, and pastoral concerns permeated his papacy; he favoured the use of the vernacular in catechesis. Frequent communion was a lasting innovation of his papacy. Pius X, like Pope Pius IX
Pope Pius IX
Blessed Pope Pius IX , born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, was the longest-reigning elected Pope in the history of the Catholic Church, serving from 16 June 1846 until his death, a period of nearly 32 years. During his pontificate, he convened the First Vatican Council in 1869, which decreed papal...

, was considered by some to be too outspoken or brusque. His direct style and condemnations did not gain him much support in the aristocratic societies of pre–World War I Europe.

His immediate predecessor had actively promoted a synthesis between the Catholic Church and secular culture; faith and science; and divine revelation and reason. Pius X defended the Catholic faith against popular 19th century views such as indifferentism
Indifferentism
Indifferentism, in Roman Catholic theology, describes the belief that there is no evidence that one religion or philosophy is superior to another. The Catholic Church ascribes indifferentism to all atheistic, materialistic, pantheistic, and agnostic philosophies...

 and relativism
Relativism
Relativism is the concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration....

 which his predecessors had warned against as well. He followed the example of Leo XIII by promoting Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

 and Thomism
Thomism
Thomism is the philosophical school that arose as a legacy of the work and thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, philosopher, theologian, and Doctor of the Church. In philosophy, his commentaries on Aristotle are his most lasting contribution...

 as the principal philosophical method to be taught in Catholic institutions. Pius opposed modernism, which claimed that Roman Catholic Dogma should be modernized and blended with nineteenth century philosophies. He viewed modernism as an import of secular errors affecting three areas of Roman Catholic belief: theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

, philosophy, and dogma.

Personally, Pius combined within himself a strong sense of compassion
Compassion
Compassion is a virtue — one in which the emotional capacities of empathy and sympathy are regarded as a part of love itself, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnection and humanism — foundational to the highest principles in philosophy, society, and personhood.There is an aspect of...

, benevolence and poverty, but also stubbornness and a certain stiffness. He wanted to be pastoral and was the only pope in the 20th century who gave Sunday sermons every week. His charity was extraordinary, filling the Apostolic Palace
Apostolic Palace
The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Pope, which is located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Sacred Palace, the Papal Palace and the Palace of the Vatican...

 with refugees from the 1908 Messina earthquake, long before the Italian government began to act on its own. He rejected any kind of favours for his family; his brother remained a postal clerk, his favourite nephew stayed on as village priest, and his three sisters lived together close to poverty in Rome. He often referred to his own humble origins, taking up the causes of poor people. I was born poor, I have lived poor, and I wish to die poor. Considered a holy person by many, public veneration of Pope Pius began soon after his death. Numerous petitions resulted in an early process of beatification
Beatification
Beatification is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person's entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name . Beatification is the third of the four steps in the canonization process...

.

Early life and ministry

Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto was born in Riese
Riese
Riese may refer to:*Project Riese, a German Nazi WWII economic project*Riese Pio X, a municipality in Italy*Adam Ries, a German mathematician*Riese: Kingdom Falling , a steampunk web series...

, Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, Austrian Empire (now Italy). He was the second born of ten children of Giovanni Battista Sarto (1792–1852) and Margarita Sanson (1813–1894). He was baptised 3 June 1835. Giuseppe's childhood was one of poverty, being the son of the village postman. Though poor, his parents valued education, and Giuseppe walked six kilometers to school each day. His father was a cobbler.

Giuseppe had three brothers and six sisters: Giuseppe Sarto, 1834 (died after six days); Angelo Sarto, 1837–1916; Teresa Parolin-Sarto, 1839–1920; Rosa Sarto, 1841–1913; Antonia Dei Bei-Sarto, 1843–1917; Maria Sarto, 1846–1930; Lucia Boschin-Sarto, 1848–1924; Anna Sarto, 1850–1926; Pietro Sarto, 1852 (died after six months).

At a young age, Giuseppe studied Latin with his village priest, and went on to study at the gymnasium
Gymnasium (school)
A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual...

 of Castelfranco Veneto
Castelfranco Veneto
Castelfranco Veneto is a town and comune of Veneto, northern Italy, in the province of Treviso, 30 km by rail from the town of Treviso. It is approximately 40 km inland from Venice.-History:...

. "In 1850 he received the tonsure
Tonsure
Tonsure is the traditional practice of Christian churches of cutting or shaving the hair from the scalp of clerics, monastics, and, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, all baptized members...

 from the Bishop of Treviso, and was given a scholarship [from] the Diocese of Treviso" to attend the Seminary of Padua
Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

, "where he finished his classical, philosophical, and theological studies with distinction".

On 18 September 1858, Sarto was ordained a priest, and became chaplain at Tombolo
Tombolo
A tombolo, from the Italian tombolo, derived from the Latin tumulus, meaning 'mound,' and sometimes translated as ayre , is a deposition landform in which an island is attached to the mainland by a narrow piece of land such as a spit or bar. Once attached, the island is then known as a tied island...

. While there, Father Sarto expanded his knowledge of theology, studying both Saint Thomas Aquinas and canon law
Canon law (Catholic Church)
The canon law of the Catholic Church, is a fully developed legal system, with all the necessary elements: courts, lawyers, judges, a fully articulated legal code and principles of legal interpretation. It lacks the necessary binding force present in most modern day legal systems. The academic...

, while carrying out most of the functions of the parish pastor, who was quite ill. In 1867, he was named Archpriest
Archpriest
An archpriest is a priest with supervisory duties over a number of parishes. The term is most often used in Eastern Orthodoxy and Eastern Catholic Churches, although it may be used in the Latin rite of the Roman Catholic Church instead of dean or vicar forane.In the 16th and 17th centuries, during...

 of Salzano
Salzano
Salzano is a town and comune in the province of Venice, located 15 kilometres from Venice . As of 2007 Salzano had an estimated population of 11,953.-History:...

. Here he restored the Church and expanded the hospital, the funds coming from his own begging, wealth and labour. He became popular with the people when he worked to assist the sick during the cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 plague that swept into northern Italy in the early 1870s.
He was named a canon
Canon (priest)
A canon is a priest or minister who is a member of certain bodies of the Christian clergy subject to an ecclesiastical rule ....

 of the cathedral and Chancellor
Chancellor
Chancellor is the title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the Cancellarii of Roman courts of justice—ushers who sat at the cancelli or lattice work screens of a basilica or law court, which separated the judge and counsel from the...

 of the Diocese of Treviso, also holding offices such as spiritual director and rector
Rector
The word rector has a number of different meanings; it is widely used to refer to an academic, religious or political administrator...

 of the Treviso seminary, and examiner of the clergy. As Chancellor he made it possible for public school students to receive religious instruction. As a priest and later bishop, he often struggled over solving problems of bringing religious instruction to rural and urban youth who did not have the opportunity to attend catholic schools.

In 1878 Bishop Zanelli died, leaving the Bishopric of Treviso
Treviso
Treviso is a city and comune in Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Treviso and the municipality has 82,854 inhabitants : some 3,000 live within the Venetian walls or in the historical and monumental center, some 80,000 live in the urban center proper, while the city...

 vacant. Following Zanelli's death, the canons of cathedral chapters (of which Monsignor Sarto was one) inherited the episcopal jurisdiction as corporate body, and were chiefly responsible for the election of a Vicar-Capitular who would take over the responsibilities of Treviso until a new bishop was named. In 1879, Sarto was elected to the position, which he served in from December of that year to June 1880.

After 1880, Sarto taught dogmatic theology
Dogmatic theology
Dogmatic theology is that part of theology dealing with the theoretical truths of faith concerning God and his works, especially the official theology recognized by an organized Church body, such as the Roman Catholic Church, Dutch Reformed Church, etc...

 and moral theology
Moral theology
Moral theology is a systematic theological treatment of Christian ethics. It is usually taught on Divinity faculties as a part of the basic curriculum.- External links :*...

 at the seminary
Seminary
A seminary, theological college, or divinity school is an institution of secondary or post-secondary education for educating students in theology, generally to prepare them for ordination as clergy or for other ministry...

 in Treviso. On 10 November 1884 he was appointed bishop of Mantua by Leo XII. He was consecrated, six days later in Rome in the church of Sant'Apollinare alle Terme Neroniane-Alessandrine
Sant'Apollinare alle Terme Neroniane-Alessandrine
Sant'Apollinare alle Terme is a titular church in Rome, Italy, dedicated to Apollinare, the first bishop of Ravenna. It is the station church for Thursday fifth week in Lent.-History:...

, Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, by Lucido Cardinal Parocchi, assisted by Pietro Rota, and by Giovanni Maria Berengo. He was appointed to the honorary position of Assistant at the Pontifical Throne
Assistant at the Pontifical Throne
Assistant at the Pontifical Throne is an ecclesiastical title in the Roman Catholic Church. It signifies a prelate belonging to the papal chapel, who stands near the throne of the Pope at solemn functions....

 on 19 June 1891.

Cardinal and Patriarch

Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII , born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci to an Italian comital family, was the 256th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, reigning from 1878 to 1903...

 made him a cardinal
Cardinal (Catholicism)
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

 in a secret consistory
Consistory
-Antiquity:Originally, the Latin word consistorium meant simply 'sitting together', just as the Greek synedrion ....

 on 12 June 1893. He was created and proclaimed as Cardinal-Priest of San Bernardo alle Terme
San Bernardo alle Terme
San Bernardo alle Terme is a basilica church in Rome, Italy.The church was built in 1598 and was initially given to a French Cistercian group, the Feuillants, through the intercession of Caterina Sforza di Santafiora. Later, after Feuillants disgregation during the French Revolution, the edifice...

.
Three days after this, Cardinal Sarto was publicly named Patriarch of Venice
Patriarch of Venice
The Patriarch of Venice is the ordinary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice. The bishop is one of the few Patriarchs in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church...

. This caused difficulty, however, as the government of the reunified Italy claimed the right to nominate the patriarch based on its previous alleged exercise by the Emperor of Austria
Emperor of Austria
The Emperor of Austria was a hereditary imperial title and position proclaimed in 1804 by the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, a member of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, and continually held by him and his heirs until the last emperor relinquished power in 1918. The emperors retained the title of...

. The poor relations between the Roman Curia
Roman Curia
The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Catholic Church, together with the Pope...

 and the Italian civil government since the annexation of the Papal States
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

 in 1870 placed additional strain on the appointment. The number of vacant sees
Episcopal See
An episcopal see is, in the original sense, the official seat of a bishop. This seat, which is also referred to as the bishop's cathedra, is placed in the bishop's principal church, which is therefore called the bishop's cathedral...

 soon grew to 30. Sarto was finally permitted to assume the position of Patriarch in 1894.

As Cardinal-Patriarch, Sarto avoided political involvement, allocating his time for social works and strengthening parochial banks. However, in his first pastoral letter
Pastoral letter
A Pastoral letter, often called simply a pastoral, is an open letter addressed by a bishop to the clergy or laity of his diocese, or to both, containing either general admonition, instruction or consolation, or directions for behaviour in particular circumstances...

 to the Venetians, Cardinal Sarto argued that in matters pertaining to the Pope, "There should be no questions, no subtleties, no opposing of personal rights to his rights, but only obedience."

Papal election

On 20 July 1903, Leo XIII died, and at the end of that month the conclave convened to elect his successor. According to historians, the favorite was the late Pope's secretary of state, Cardinal Mariano Rampolla. On the first ballot, Rampolla received 24 votes, Gotti had 17 votes, and Sarto five votes. On the second ballot, Rampolla had gained five votes, as did Sarto. The next day, it seemed that Rampolla would be elected. However, the veto (jus exclusivae) against Rampolla's nomination, by Polish Cardinal Jan Puzyna de Kosielsko from Krakow in the name of Emperor Franz Joseph (1848–1916) of Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

, was proclaimed. Many in the conclave, including Rampolla, protested the veto, and it was even suggested that he be elected pope despite the veto.

However, the third vote had already begun, and thus the conclave had to continue with the voting, which resulted in no clear winner, though it did indicate that many of the conclave wished to turn their support to Sarto, who had 21 votes upon counting. The fourth vote showed Rampolla with 30 votes and Sarto with 24. It seemed clear that the cardinals were moving toward Sarto.

On the following morning, the fifth vote of the conclave was taken, and the count had Rampolla with 10 votes, Gotti with two votes, and Sarto with 50 votes. Thus, on 4 August 1903, Cardinal Sarto was elected to the pontificate. This marked the last time a veto would be exercised by a Catholic monarch in the proceedings of the conclave.

At first, it is reported, Sarto declined the nomination, feeling unworthy. Additionally, he had been deeply saddened by the Austro-Hungarian veto and vowed to rescind these powers and excommunicate anyone who communicated such a veto during a conclave. With the cardinals asking him to reconsider, it is further reported, he went into solitude, and took the position after deep prayer in the Pauline chapel and the urging of his fellow cardinals.

In accepting the papacy, Sarto took as his papal name Pius X, out of respect for his recent predecessors of the same name, particularly Pope Pius IX
Pope Pius IX
Blessed Pope Pius IX , born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, was the longest-reigning elected Pope in the history of the Catholic Church, serving from 16 June 1846 until his death, a period of nearly 32 years. During his pontificate, he convened the First Vatican Council in 1869, which decreed papal...

 (1846–78), who had fought against theological liberals and for papal supremacy. Pius X's traditional coronation
Papal Coronation
A papal coronation was the ceremony of the placing of the Papal Tiara on a newly elected pope. The first recorded papal coronation was that of Pope Celestine II in 1143. Soon after his coronation in 1963, Pope Paul VI abandoned the practice of wearing the tiara. His successors have chosen not to...

 took place on the following Sunday, 9 August 1903. Upon being elected pope he was also formally the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, prefect of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , previously known as the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition , and after 1904 called the Supreme...

, prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Churches
Congregation for the Oriental Churches
The Congregation for the Oriental Churches is the dicastery of the Roman Curia responsible for contact with the Eastern Catholic Churches for the sake of assisting their development, protecting their rights and also maintaining whole and entire in the one Catholic Church, alongside the liturgical,...

 and prefect of the Sacred Consistorial Congregation
Congregation for Bishops
The Congregation for Bishops is the congregation of the Roman Curia which oversees the selection of new bishops that are not in mission territories or those areas that come under the jurisdiction of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches who deal with the Eastern Catholics, pending papal...

. There was however a Cardinal-Secretary to run these bodies on a day-to-day basis.

Pontificate

The pontificate of Pius X was noted for its conservative theology and reforms in liturgy and church law. In what became his motto, the Pope stated in 1903 that his papacy would undertake Instaurare Omnia in Christo, or "to restore all things in Christ." In his first encyclical (E Supremi Apostolatus, 4 October 1903), he stated that his overriding policy as follows: "We champion the authority of God. His authority and Commandments should be recognized, deferred to, and respected."

His simple origins became clear right after his election, when he wore a pectoral cross made of gilded metal on the day of his coronation and when his entourage was horrified, the new pope complained that he always wore it and that he had brought no other with him. He was well known for cutting down on papal ceremonies. He also abolished the custom of the pope dining alone (which had been established by Pope Urban VIII
Pope Urban VIII
Pope Urban VIII , born Maffeo Barberini, was pope from 1623 to 1644. He was the last pope to expand the papal territory by force of arms, and was a prominent patron of the arts and reformer of Church missions...

), and the pope invited his friends to eat with him

He was also on one occasion chided by Rome's social leaders for refusing to make his (Pius X's) peasant sisters papal countesses, to which he responded 'I have made them sisters of the pope; what more can I do for them'?

He developed a reputation as being very friendly with children. He carried candy in his pockets for the street urchins in Mantua and Venice, and taught catechism to them. During papal audiences, he would gather children around him and talk to them about things that interested them. His weekly catechism lessons in the courtyard of San Damaso in the Vatican always included a special place for children, and his decision to require the confraternity of Christian doctrine in ever parish was partly motivated by a desire to reclaim children from religious ignorance.

Restoration in Christ and mariology

Pius X promoted daily communion for all Catholics (this practice was criticized for introducing irreverence). In his 1904 encyclical Ad Diem Illum
Ad Diem Illum
Ad diem Illum Laetissimum is an encyclical of Saint Pope Pius X on the Immaculate Conception, Given at Rome in St. Peter's on the second day of February, 1904, in the first year of his Pontificate. It is issued in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the dogma of the Immaculate conception...

, he views Mary in context of "restoring everything in Christ". Spiritually we all are her children and she is the mother of us, therefore, she is to be revered like a mother. Christ is the Word made Flesh and the Savior of mankind. He had a physical body like every other man: and as savior of the human family, he had a spiritual and mystical body, the Church. This, the Pope argues has consequences for our view of the Blessed Virgin.

She did not conceive the Eternal Son of God merely that He might be made man taking His human nature from her, but also, by giving him her human nature, that He might be the Redeemer of men. Mary, carrying the Savior within her, also carried all those whose life was contained in the life of the Savior. Therefore all the faithful united to Christ, are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones from the womb of Mary like a body united to its head. Through a spiritual and mystical fashion, all are children of Mary, and she is their Mother. Mother, spiritually, but truly Mother of the members of Christ.(S. Aug. L. de S. Virginitate, c. 6).

Tra le sollecitudini and Gregorian chant

Within three months of his coronation, Pius X published his motu proprio
Motu proprio
A motu proprio is a document issued by the Pope on his own initiative and personally signed by him....

Tra le sollecitudini (possibly co-written by his friend Lorenzo Perosi). Classical and Baroque
Baroque music
Baroque music describes a style of Western Classical music approximately extending from 1600 to 1760. This era follows the Renaissance and was followed in turn by the Classical era...

 compositions had long been favoured over Gregorian chant
Gregorian chant
Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic liturgical music within Western Christianity that accompanied the celebration of Mass and other ritual services...

 in ecclesiastical music. The Pope announced a return to earlier musical styles, championed by Don Perosi. Since 1898, Perosi had been Director of the Sistine Chapel Choir
Sistine Chapel Choir
The Sistine Chapel Choir is a choir based in Vatican City and is one of the oldest religious choirs in the world. At present, the choir comprises approximately twenty adult singers and thirty unpaid boy choristers .-Middle Ages :Although it is known that the Church, from her earliest days,...

, a title which Pius X upgraded to "Perpetual Director." The Pope's choice of Dom Joseph Pothier to supervise the new editions of chant led to the official adoption of the Solesmes edition of Gregorian chant.

Liturgical changes

In his papacy, Pius X worked to increase devotion in the lives of the clergy and laity
Laity
In religious organizations, the laity comprises all people who are not in the clergy. A person who is a member of a religious order who is not ordained legitimate clergy is considered as a member of the laity, even though they are members of a religious order .In the past in Christian cultures, the...

, particularly in the Breviary
Breviary
A breviary is a liturgical book of the Latin liturgical rites of the Catholic Church containing the public or canonical prayers, hymns, the Psalms, readings, and notations for everyday use, especially by bishops, priests, and deacons in the Divine Office...

 (which he reformed considerably – see Reform of the Roman Breviary by Pope Pius X) and the Holy Mass
Mass (liturgy)
"Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is called in the Roman Catholic Church: others are "Eucharist", the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly ", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and...

.

Besides restoring to prominence the Gregorian Chant, he placed a renewed liturgical
Liturgy
Liturgy is either the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions or a more precise term that distinguishes between those religious groups who believe their ritual requires the "people" to do the "work" of responding to the priest, and those...

 emphasis on the Eucharist
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

, saying, "Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven." To this end, he encouraged frequent reception of Holy Communion. This extended to children, who had reached the "age of discretion", as well, though he did not permit the ancient Eastern practice of infant communion
Infant communion
Infant Communion refers to the practice of giving the Eucharist, often in the form of consecrated wine, to infants and children. This practice is standard in the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches; here, communion is given at the Divine Liturgy to all baptized and chrismated...

. In conjunction, he also emphasized frequent recourse to the Sacrament of Penance
Sacrament of Penance (Catholic Church)
In the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is the method by which individual men and women may be freed from sins committed after receiving the sacrament of Baptism...

 so that Holy Communion would be received worthily. Pius X's devotion to the Eucharist would eventually earn him the honorific of "Pope of the Blessed Sacrament," by which he is still known among his devotees.

In 1910 he issued the decree Quam Singulari, which changed the age of discretion from 12 to 7 years-old. On one occasion the pope personally gave communion to a four year-old English child whom the Pope had gently asked if he knew who was being received in the Eucharist, and the child answered 'Jesus'. The pope lowered the age because he wished to impress the event on the minds of children and stimulate their parents to new religious observance; this decree was found unwelcome in some places due to the belief that parents would withdraw their children early from catholic schools, now that communion occurred earlier.

Pius X said in his 1903 motu proprio 'Tra le sollecitudine':
The primary and indispensable source of the true
Christian spirit is participation in the most holy mysteries and in the public, official prayer of the church.

Anti-modernism

Pius X's papacy featured vigorous condemnation of what he termed 'modernists
Modernism (Roman Catholicism)
Modernism refers to theological opinions expressed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but with influence reaching into the 21st century, which are characterized by a break with the past. Catholic modernists form an amorphous group. The term "modernist" appears in Pope Pius X's 1907...

' and 'relativists
Relativism
Relativism is the concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration....

' who endangered the Catholic faith
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

 (see for example his Oath Against Modernism
Oath Against Modernism
The Oath against Modernism was issued by the Roman Catholic Pope, Saint Pius X, on September 1, 1910, and mandated that "all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries" should swear to it....

). This is perhaps the most controversial aspect of his papacy.

Modernism and relativism, in terms of their presence in the Church, were theological trends that tried to assimilate modern philosophers like Kant
Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher from Königsberg , researching, lecturing and writing on philosophy and anthropology at the end of the 18th Century Enlightenment....

 as well as rationalism into Catholic theology. Modernists justified this change with the idea that beliefs of the Church have evolved (as opposed to a development of doctrine) throughout its history and all evolution should subject itself in conformity to modern man. Anti-modernists viewed these notions as contrary to the dogmas and traditions of the Catholic Church because it renders all dogma changeable which would contradict their very nature. As a result all Christian beliefs would be thrown into doubt because they are subject to change and evolution. The most brutal results of Modernism would therefore be a slippery slope into deism, agnosticism, and/or atheism.

In a decree, entitled Lamentabili Sane Exitu
Lamentabili Sane Exitu
Lamentabili Sane Exitu is a 1907 syllabus, prepared by the Holy Office and confirmed by Pope Pius X, which condemned errors in the exegesis of Holy Scripture and in the history and interpretation of dogma...

(or "A Lamentable Departure Indeed"), issued 3 July 1907, Pius X formally condemned sixty-five modernist or relativist propositions concerning the nature of the Church, revelation
Revelation
In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with a supernatural or a divine entity...

, biblical exegesis, the sacraments, and the divinity of Christ. This was followed by the encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis
Pascendi Dominici Gregis
Pascendi dominici gregis was a Papal encyclical letter promulgated by Pope Pius X on 8 September 1907.The pope condemned Modernism, and a whole range of other principles described as "evolutionary", which allowed change to Roman Catholic dogma...

(or "Feeding the Lord's Flock"), which characterized Modernism as the "synthesis of all heresies." Following these, Pius X ordered that all clerics take the Sacrorum antistitum, an oath against Modernism. He also encouraged the formation and efforts of Sodalitium Pianum (or League of Pius V), an anti-Modernist network of informants, which was seen negatively by many people due to its accusations of heresy against people on the flimsiest of evidence.

Pius X's aggressive stance against modernism caused some disruption within the Church. Although only about forty clerics refused to take the oath, Catholic scholarship with modernistic tendencies was substantially discouraged. Theologians who wished to pursue lines of inquiry in line with secularism, modernism, or relativism had to stop, or face conflict with the papacy, and possibly even excommunication
Excommunication
Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive, suspend or limit membership in a religious community. The word means putting [someone] out of communion. In some religions, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation of the member or group...

.

Catechism of Saint Pius X

In 1905, Pius X in his letter Acerbo Nimis mandated the existence of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (catechism class) in every parish in the world.

The Catechism of Pope St. Pius X is his realisation of a simple, plain, brief, popular Catechism
Catechism
A catechism , i.e. to indoctrinate) is a summary or exposition of doctrine, traditionally used in Christian religious teaching from New Testament times to the present...

 for uniform use throughout the whole world; it was used in the ecclesiastical province of Rome and for some years in other parts of Italy; it was not, however, prescribed for use throughout the universal church. The characteristics of Pius X were "simplicity of exposition and depth of content. Also because of this, St. Pius X's catechism might have friends in the future." The Catechism was extolled as a method of religious teaching in his encyclical "Acerbo Nimis" of April 1905.

The Catechism of Saint Pius X was issued in 1908, (in Italian Catechismo della dottrina Cristiana, Pubblicato per Ordine del Sommo Pontifice San Pio X) An English translation runs to more than 115 pages.

Asked in 2003, whether the almost 100-year-old Catechism of Saint Pius X was still valid, Cardinal Ratzinger
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

 said: "The faith as such is always the same. Hence the Catechism of Saint Pius X always preserves its value. Whereas ways of transmitting the contents of the faith can change instead. And hence one may wonder whether the Catechism of Saint Pius X can in that sense still be considered valid today."

Reform of Canon Law

Canon Law
Canon law (Catholic Church)
The canon law of the Catholic Church, is a fully developed legal system, with all the necessary elements: courts, lawyers, judges, a fully articulated legal code and principles of legal interpretation. It lacks the necessary binding force present in most modern day legal systems. The academic...

 in the Catholic Church varied from region to region with no overall prescriptions. On 19 March 1904, Pope Pius X named a commission of Cardinals to draft a universal set of laws that was to be the Code of Canon Law for most of the twentieth century. Two of his successors worked in the commission, G. della Chiesa, to become Pope Benedict XV
Pope Benedict XV
Pope Benedict XV , born Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chiesa, reigned as Pope from 3 September 1914 to 22 January 1922...

 and Eugenio Pacelli, to become Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII
The Venerable Pope Pius XII , born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli , reigned as Pope, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City State, from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958....

. The first-ever definitive Code of Canon Law was promulgated by Benedict XV on 27 May 1917, obtained the Force of Law on 19 May 1918 and was in effect until Advent 1983.

Reform of Church administration

Pius X reformed the Roman Curia
Roman Curia
The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Catholic Church, together with the Pope...

 with the constitution Sapienti Consilio, and specified new rules enforcing a bishop's oversight of seminaries in the encyclical Pieni L'Animo. He established regional seminaries (closing some smaller ones), and promulgated a new plan of seminary study. He also barred clergy from administering social organizations.

Church policies towards secular governments

Pius X reversed the accommodating approach of Leo XIII towards secular governments, appointing Rafael Merry del Val as Cardinal Secretary of State (Rafael Merry del Val would later have his own cause opened for canonization in 1953, but has still not been beatified). When the French president Émile Loubet
Émile Loubet
Émile François Loubet was a French politician and the 8th President of France.-Early life:He was born the son of a peasant proprietor and mayor of Marsanne . Admitted to the Parisian bar in 1862, he took his doctorate in law the next year...

 visited the Italian monarch Victor Emmanuel III (1900–46), Pius X, still refusing to accept the annexation of the Papal territories by Italy, reproached the French president for this visit and refused to meet him. This led to a diplomatic break with France, and in 1905 France issued a Law of Separation, which separated church and state
Separation of church and state
The concept of the separation of church and state refers to the distance in the relationship between organized religion and the nation state....

, and which the Pope denounced. The effect of this separation was the Church’s loss of its government funding in France. Two French bishops were removed by the Vatican for recognising the Third Republic. Eventually, France expelled the Jesuits and broke off diplomatic relations with the Vatican.

The Pope adopted a similar position toward secular governments in other parts of the world: in Portugal, Ireland, Poland, Ethiopia, and a number of other states with large Catholic populations. His actions and statements against international relations with Italy angered the secular powers of these countries, as well as a few others, like England and Russia. In Ulster
Ulster
Ulster is one of the four provinces of Ireland, located in the north of the island. In ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial...

, Protestants were increasingly worried that a proposed Home Rule Ireland run by Catholics inspired by Pius X would result in Rome Rule
Rome Rule
"Rome Rule" was a term used by Irish unionists and socialists to describe the belief that the Roman Catholic Church would gain political control over their interests with the passage of a Home Rule Bill...

.

In 1908 the papal decree Ne Temere
Ne Temere
Ne Temere was a decree of the Roman Catholic Congregation of the Council regulating the canon law of the Church about marriage for practising Roman Catholics....

came into effect which complicated mixed marriages
Interreligious marriage
Interfaith marriage, traditionally called mixed marriage, is marriage between partners professing different religions. Some religious doctrines prohibit interfaith marriage, and while others do allow it, most restrict it...

. Marriages not performed by a Roman Catholic priest were declared legal but religiously invalid, worrying some Protestants that the Church would counsel separation for couples married in a Protestant church or by civil service. Priests were given discretion to refuse to perform mixed marriages or lay conditions upon them, commonly including a requirement that the children be raised Roman Catholic. The decree proved particularly divisive in Ireland, which has a large Protestant minority, contributing indirectly to the subsequent political conflict there and requiring debates in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.

As secular authority challenged that of the papacy, Pius X became more aggressive. He suspended the Opera dei Congressi
Opera dei Congressi
The Opera dei Congressi or Work of the Congress was a Roman Catholic organisation that promoted Catholic ideas and culture. It was created in 1874, and observed of the positions of the Catholic Church, in particular Non Expedit. It began as a non-political group but moved into protesting the...

, which coordinated the work of Catholic associations in Italy, as well as condemning Le Sillon
Le Sillon
Le Sillon was a French political and religious movement founded by Marc Sangnier which existed from 1894 to 1910...

, a French social movement that tried to reconcile the Church with liberal political views. He also opposed trade union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

s that were not exclusively Catholic.

Pius X partially lifted decrees prohibiting Italian Catholics from voting; however, he never recognised the Italian government.

Relations with the Kingdom of Italy

Initially Pius maintained his prisoner in the Vatican
Prisoner in the Vatican
A prisoner in the Vatican or prisoner of the Vatican is how Pope Pius IX described himself following the capture of Rome by the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy on 20 September 1870. Part of the process of Italian unification, the city's capture ended the millennial temporal rule of the popes...

 stance but with the rise of socialism he began to allow the Non Expedit
Non Expedit
Non Expedit were the words with which the Holy See enjoined upon Italian Catholics the policy of abstention from the polls in parliamentary elections.-History:...

to be relaxed. In 1905 in his encyclical
Encyclical
An encyclical was originally a circular letter sent to all the churches of a particular area in the ancient Catholic Church. At that time, the word could be used for a letter sent out by any bishop...

 Il Fermo Proposito he allowed Catholics to vote when they were ‘help[ing] the maintenance of social order’ by voting for deputies who were not socialist.

Relations with Poland and Russia

Under Pius X, the traditionally difficult situation of Polish Catholics in Russia did not improve. Although Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Prince of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His official short title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until...

 issued a decree 22 February 1903, promising religious freedom for the Catholic Church, and, in 1905, promulgated a constitution, which included religious freedom, the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

 felt threatened and insisted on stiff interpretations. Papal decrees were not permitted and contacts with the Vatican remained outlawed.

Activities for the United States

In 1908, Pius X lifted the United States out of its missionary status, in recognition of the growth of the American church. Fifteen new dioceses were created in the US during his pontificate, and he named two American cardinals. He was very popular among American catholics, partly due to his simple background in poverty that made him seen as a common ordinary person that was on the papal throne.

In 1910, the Pope refused an audience with the former Vice-President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 Charles W. Fairbanks
Charles W. Fairbanks
Charles Warren Fairbanks was a Senator from Indiana and the 26th Vice President of the United States ....

, who had addressed the Methodist
Methodism
Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...

 association in Rome, nor with former President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

, who intended to address the same association.

Miracles during the Pope's lifetime

Other than the stories of miracles performed through the pope's intercession after his death, there are also stories of miracles performed by the pope during his lifetime.
On one occasion, during a papal audience, Pius X was holding a paralyzed child who wriggled free from his arms and then ran around the room. On another occasion, a couple (who had made confession to him while he was bishop of Mantua) with a two year-old child with meningitis wrote to the pope and the pope then wrote back to them to hope and pray. Two days later, the child was supposedly cured.

Ernesto Ruffini
Ernesto Ruffini
Ernesto Ruffini was an Italian Cardinal of the Catholic Church who served as Archbishop of Palermo from 1945 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1946 by Pope Pius XII.-Biography:...

 (later cardinal archbishop of Palermo) had visited the pope after he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, and the pope had told him to go back to the seminary and that he would be fine. Ruffini gave this story to the investigators of the Pontiff's cause for canonization.

Other activities

In addition to the political defense of the Church, liturgical changes, anti-modernism, and the beginning of the codification of Canon law, the papacy of Pius X saw the reorganisation of the Roman Curia
Roman Curia
The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Catholic Church, together with the Pope...

. Also, to update the education of priests, seminaries and their curricula were reformed.

Pius X beatified
Beatification
Beatification is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person's entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name . Beatification is the third of the four steps in the canonization process...

 ten individuals and canonized
Canonization
Canonization is the act by which a Christian church declares a deceased person to be a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the canon, or list, of recognized saints. Originally, individuals were recognized as saints without any formal process...

 four. Those beatified during his pontificate, were Marie Genevieve Meunier (1906), Rose Chretien (1906), Valentin Faustino Berri Ochoa (1906), Saint Clarus (1907), Zdislava Berka
Zdislava Berka
Zdislava Berka was the wife of Havel of Markvartice, Duke of Lemberk is a Czech saint of the Roman Catholic Church. She was a particularly austere and generous woman who founded a convent.-Biography:...

 (1907), John Bosco
John Bosco
John Bosco , was an Italian Catholic priest, educator and writer of the 19th century, who put into practice the convictions of his religion, dedicating his life to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile delinquents, and other disadvantaged youth and employing teaching methods...

 (1907), John of Ruysbroeck (1908), Andrew Nam Thung (1909), Agatha Lin (1909), Agnes De (1909), Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc
Saint Joan of Arc, nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans" , is a national heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. A peasant girl born in eastern France who claimed divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War, which paved the way for the...

 (1909), and John Eudes (1909). Those canonized by him were Alexander Sauli
Alexander Sauli
Saint Alexander Sauli, the "Apostle of Corsica", was born at Milan, 15 February 1535, of an illustrious Lombard family. He died at Calozza, 11 October 1592, and was interred at Pavia...

 (1904), Gerard Majella
Gerard Majella
Saint Gerard Majella is a Roman Catholic saint. He is the saint whose intercession is requested for children , childbirth, mothers , motherhood, falsely accused people, good confessions, lay brothers and Muro Lucano,...

 (1904), Clement Mary Hofbauer (1909), and Joseph Oriol
Joseph Oriol
Saint Joseph Oriol is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church. He is called the "Thaumaturgus of Barcelona." A native of Barcelona, he studied at the University of Barcelona, receiving the degree of Doctor of Theology, 1 August 1674.He was ordained priest on 30 May 1676...

 (1909).

Pius X published sixteen encyclicals; among them was Vehementer nos
Vehementer Nos
Vehementer Nos was a papal encyclical promulgated by Pope Pius X on February 11, 1906. Occasioned by the French law of 1905 providing for the separation of church and state, it denounced the proposition that the state should be separated from the Church as "a thesis absolutely false, a most...

on 11 February 1906, which condemned the 1905 French law on the separation of the State and the Church. Pius X also confirmed, though not infallibly, the existence of Limbo
Limbo
In the theology of the Catholic Church, Limbo is a speculative idea about the afterlife condition of those who die in original sin without being assigned to the Hell of the damned. Limbo is not an official doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church or any other...

 in Roman Catholic theology in his 1905 Catechism, saying that the unbaptized "do not have the joy of God but neither do they suffer... they do not deserve Paradise, but neither do they deserve Hell or Purgatory
Purgatory
Purgatory is the condition or process of purification or temporary punishment in which, it is believed, the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for Heaven...

." On 23 November 1903, Pius X issued a papal directive, a motu proprio
Motu proprio
A motu proprio is a document issued by the Pope on his own initiative and personally signed by him....

, that banned women from singing in church choirs (i.e. the architectural choir).

In the Prophecy of St. Malachy
Prophecy of the Popes
The Prophecy of the Popes, attributed to Saint Malachy, is a list of 112 short phrases in Latin. They purport to describe each of the Roman Catholic popes , beginning with Pope Celestine II and concluding with the successor of current pope Benedict XVI, a pope described in the prophecy as "Peter...

, the collection of 112 prophecies about the Popes, Pius X appears as Ignis Ardens or "Burning Fire."

Death and burial

In 1913 Pius X suffered a heart attack, and subsequently lived in the shadow of poor health. In 1914, the Pope fell ill on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary
Assumption of Mary
According to the belief of Christians of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, and parts of the Anglican Communion and Continuing Anglicanism, the Assumption of Mary was the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her life...

 (15 August), an illness from which he would not recover. His condition was worsened by the events leading to the outbreak of World War I (1914–18), which reportedly sent the 79 year-old Pope into a state of horror and melancholy. He died on 20 August 1914 of a heart attack, only a few hours after the death of Jesuit leader
Superior General of the Society of Jesus
The Superior General of the Society of Jesus is the official title of the leader of the Society of Jesus—the Roman Catholic religious order, also known as the Jesuits. He is generally addressed as Father General. The position carries the nickname of Black Pope, after his simple black priest's...

 Franz Xavier Wernz
Franz Xavier Wernz
Franz Xavier Wernz, S.J. was the twenty-fifth Superior General of the Society of Jesus. He was born in Rottweil, Württemberg ....

.

Following his death, Pius X was buried in a simple and unadorned tomb in the crypt below St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter , officially known in Italian as ' and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. Saint Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world...

. Papal physicians had been in the habit of removing organs to aid the embalming process. Pius X expressly prohibited this, however, and none of his successors have allowed the practice to be reinstituted.


Canonization

Although Pius X's canonisation took place in 1954, the events leading up to it began immediately with his death. A letter of 24 September 1916 by Monsignor Leo, Bishop of Nicotera and Tropea, referred to Pius X as "a great Saint and a great Pope." To accommodate the large number of pilgrims seeking access to his tomb, more than what the crypt would hold, "a small metal cross was set into the floor of the basilica," which read Pius Papa X, "so that the faithful might kneel down directly above the tomb". Masses were held near his tomb until 1930.

Devotion to Pius X between the two world war
World war
A world war is a war affecting the majority of the world's most powerful and populous nations. World wars span multiple countries on multiple continents, with battles fought in multiple theaters....

s remained high. On 14 February 1923, in honor of the 20th anniversary of his accession to the papacy, the first moves toward his canonisation began with the formal appointment of those who would carry out his cause. The event was marked by the erecting of a monument in his memory in St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter , officially known in Italian as ' and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. Saint Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world...

. On 19 August 1939, Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII
The Venerable Pope Pius XII , born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli , reigned as Pope, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City State, from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958....

 (1939–58) delivered a tribute to Pius X at Castel Gandolfo
Castel Gandolfo
Castel Gandolfo is a small Italian town or comune in Lazio that occupies a height overlooking Lake Albano about 15 miles south-east of Rome, on the Alban Hills. It is best known as the summer residence of the Pope. It is an Italian town with the population of 8834...

. On 12 February 1943, a further development of Pius X's cause was achieved, when he was declared to have displayed heroic virtue
Heroic virtue
Heroic virtue is a phrase coined by Augustine of Hippo to describe the virtue of early Christian martyrs and used by the Roman Catholic church. The Greek pagan term hero described a person with possibly superhuman abilities and great goodness, and "it connotes a degree of bravery, fame, and...

s, gaining therefore the title "Venerable".

On 19 May 1944, Pius X's coffin was exhumed and was taken to the Chapel of the Holy Crucifix in St. Peter's Basilica for the canonical examination. Upon opening the coffin, the examiners found the body of Pius X remarkably well preserved, despite the fact that he had died 30 years before and had made wishes not to be embalmed. According to Jerome Dai-Gal, "all of the body" of Pius X "was in an excellent state of conservation". After the examination and the end of the apostolic process towards Pius X's cause, Pius XII bestowed the title of Venerable
Venerable
The Venerable is used as a style or epithet in several Christian churches. It is also the common English-language translation of a number of Buddhist titles.-Roman Catholic:...

 Servant of God upon Pius X. His body was exposed for 45 days (Rome was liberated by the allies during this time), before being placed back in his tomb.
Following this, the process towards beatification
Beatification
Beatification is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person's entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name . Beatification is the third of the four steps in the canonization process...

 began, and thus investigations by the Sacred Congregation of Rites
Congregation for the Causes of Saints
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints is the congregation of the Roman Curia which oversees the complex process that leads to the canonization of saints, passing through the steps of a declaration of "heroic virtues" and beatification...

 (S.C.R.) into miracle
Miracle
A miracle often denotes an event attributed to divine intervention. Alternatively, it may be an event attributed to a miracle worker, saint, or religious leader. A miracle is sometimes thought of as a perceptible interruption of the laws of nature. Others suggest that a god may work with the laws...

s performed by intercessory work of Pius X subsequently took place. The S.C.R. would eventually recognize two miracles. The first involved Sr. Marie-Françoise Deperras, a nun who had bone cancer and was cured on 7 December 1928 during a novena
Novena
In the Catholic Church, a novena is a devotion consisting of a prayer repeated on nine successive days, asking to obtain special graces. The prayers may come from prayer books, or consist of the recitation of the Rosary , or of short prayers through the day...

 in which a relic of Pius X was placed on her chest. The second involved Sr. Benedetta De Maria, who had cancer, and in a novena started in 1938, she eventually touched a relic statue of Pius X and was cured.

Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII
The Venerable Pope Pius XII , born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli , reigned as Pope, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City State, from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958....

 officially approved the two miracles on 11 February 1951; and on 4 March, Pius XII, in his De Tuto, declared that the Church could continue in the beatification of the Venerable Pope Pius X. His beatification took place on 3 June 1951 at St. Peter's before 23 cardinals, hundreds of bishops and archbishops, and a crowd of 100,000 faithful. During his beatification decree, Pius XII referred to Pius X as "Pope of the Eucharist", in honor of Pius X's expansion of the rite to children.

Following his beatification, on 17 February 1952, Pius X's body was transferred from its tomb to the Vatican basilica and placed under the altar of the chapel of the Presentation. The pontiff's body lies within a glass and bronze-work sarcophagus for the faithful to see.

On 29 May 1954, less than three years after his beatification, Pius X was canonized, following the S.C.R.'s recognition of two more miracles. The first involved Francesco Belsami, an attorney from Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 who had a fatal pulmonary
Human lung
The human lungs are the organs of respiration in humans. Humans have two lungs, with the left being divided into two lobes and the right into three lobes. Together, the lungs contain approximately of airways and 300 to 500 million alveoli, having a total surface area of about in...

 abscess
Abscess
An abscess is a collection of pus that has accumulated in a cavity formed by the tissue in which the pus resides due to an infectious process or other foreign materials...

, who was cured upon placing a picture of the Blessed Pope Pius X upon his chest. The second miracle involved Sr. Maria Ludovica Scorcia, a nun who was afflicted with a serious neurotropic
Nervous system
The nervous system is an organ system containing a network of specialized cells called neurons that coordinate the actions of an animal and transmit signals between different parts of its body. In most animals the nervous system consists of two parts, central and peripheral. The central nervous...

 virus, and who, upon several novenas, was entirely cured. The Canonization mass was presided over by Pius XII at Saint Peter's Basilica before a crowd of about 800,000 of the faithful and church officials at St. Peter's Basilica. Pius X became the first Pope to be canonized since Pius V was canonized in 1712.

His canonization ceremony was taped and recorded by early television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 news broadcasters, including NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

.

Prayer cards often depict the sanctified Pontiff with instruments of Holy Communion
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

. In addition to being celebrated as the "Pope of the Blessed Sacrament," St. Pius X is also the patron saint of emigrants from Treviso. He is honored in numerous parishes in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Canada, and the United States.

The number of parishes, schools, seminaries and retreat houses named after him in western countries is very large, partly because he was very well known, and his beatification and canonization in the early 1950s was during a period of time following World War II when there was a great deal of new construction in cities and population growth in the era of the baby boom, thus leading to Catholic institutional expansion that correlated with the growing society.

Pius X's feast day was assigned in 1955 to 3 September, to be celebrated as a Double. It remained thus for 15 years. In the 1960 calendar (incorporated in the 1962 Roman Missal
Roman Missal
The Roman Missal is the liturgical book that contains the texts and rubrics for the celebration of the Mass in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.-Situation before the Council of Trent:...

 of Pope John XXIII
Pope John XXIII
-Papal election:Following the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, Roncalli was elected Pope, to his great surprise. He had even arrived in the Vatican with a return train ticket to Venice. Many had considered Giovanni Battista Montini, Archbishop of Milan, a possible candidate, but, although archbishop...

, whose continued use as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite
Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite
"An extraordinary form of the Roman Rite" is a phrase used in Pope Benedict XVI's motu proprio Summorum Pontificum to describe the liturgy of the 1962 Roman Missal, widely referred to as the "Tridentine Mass"...

 is authorized under the conditions indicated in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum) the rank was changed to Third-Class Feast. The rank in the General Roman Calendar since 1969 is that of Memorial and the feast day is obligatorily celebrated on 21 August, closer to the day of his death (20 August, impeded by the feast day of St Bernard).

The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine
Confraternity of Christian Doctrine
The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine was an association established at Rome in 1562 for the purpose of giving religious education. Its modern usage, often abbreviated CCD or C.C.D., is a religious education program of the Catholic Church, normally designed for children.-History:Until the...

 was a big supporter of his canonization, partly because he had ordained the need for its existence in every diocese and because it had received a great deal of episcopal criticism, and it was thought that by canonizing the pope who gave them their mandate, this would help inculate against this criticism. They initiated a prayer crusade for his canonization that achieved the participation of over two million names.

After the pope's canonization, another miracle is said to have taken place when a Christian family activist named Clem Lane suffered a major heart attack and was placed in an oxygen tent, where he was given extreme unction. A relic of the pope was placed over his tent, and he recovered to the great surprise of his doctors. A sister of Loretta at Webster College in St Louis Missouri, claimed that her priest brother had been cured through the pope's intercession as well.

Papal coat of arms

The papal arms
Papal coat of arms
For at least 800 years, each Pope has had his own personal coat of arms that serves as a symbol of his papacy. The first Pope whose arms are known with certainty is Pope Innocent IV . Earlier popes were only attributed arms in the 17th century....

 of Pius X are composed of the traditional elements of all papal heraldry
Heraldry
Heraldry is the profession, study, or art of creating, granting, and blazoning arms and ruling on questions of rank or protocol, as exercised by an officer of arms. Heraldry comes from Anglo-Norman herald, from the Germanic compound harja-waldaz, "army commander"...

 before Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

: the shield, the papal tiara
Papal Tiara
The Papal Tiara, also known incorrectly as the Triple Tiara, or in Latin as the Triregnum, in Italian as the Triregno and as the Trirègne in French, is the three-tiered jewelled papal crown, supposedly of Byzantine and Persian origin, that is a prominent symbol of the papacy...

, and the keys
Papal regalia and insignia
Papal regalia and insignia are the official items of attire and decoration proper to the Pope in his capacity as the head of the Roman Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State.- Regalia :...

. The tiara and keys are typical symbols used in the coats of arms of pontiffs, which symbolize their authority.

The shield of Pius X's coat of arms is charged in two basic parts, as it is per fess. In chief (the top part of the shield) shows the arms of the Patriarch of Venice
Patriarch of Venice
The Patriarch of Venice is the ordinary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice. The bishop is one of the few Patriarchs in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church...

, which Pius X was from 1893–1903. It consists of the lion of St. Mark proper and haloed in silver upon a silver-white background, displaying a book with the inscription of PAX TIBI MARCE in the left page and EVANGELISTA MEUS on the right page. Pax tibi Marce Evangelista Meus is the motto of Venice and is Latin for Peace to you, Mark my evangelist. This motto refers to Venice as the final resting place of Saint Mark. The display of the Arms of the Patriarchate of Venice in the Papal Coat of Arms of Popes who were Archbishops of that city is traditional, and therefore the same chief can be seen in the Arms of other Popes, such as John XXIII and John Paul I, also Patriarchs of Venice upon election to the See of Rome. Renditions of this part of Pius X's arms depict the lion either with or without a sword, and sometimes only one side of the book is written on.

The shield displays the arms Pius X took as Bishop of Mantua: an anchor proper cast into a stormy sea (the blue and silver wavy lines), lit up by a single six-pointed star of gold. These were inspired by Hebrews 6:19, which states that the hope we have is the sure and steadfast anchor of the soul. Pius X, then Bishop Sarto, stated that "hope is the sole companion of my life, the greatest support in uncertainty, the strongest power in situations of weakness."

Although not present upon his arms, the only motto attributed to Pope Pius X is the one for which he is best remembered: instaurare omnia in Christo (Latin for "To restore all things in Christ"). These words were the last he spoke before he died.

Sources

    • Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, Pope Pius X, Rome, Vatican 1920
    • Catechismo della dottrina Cristiana, Pubblicato per Ordine del Sommo Pontifice San Pio X, Il Sabato, 1999
    • The Catechism of St.Pius http://www.stjamescatholic.org/ebooks/catechism_st_pp_pius_x.pdf

In fiction

Pope Pius X appears in Flann O'Brien
Flann O'Brien
Brian O'Nolan was an Irish novelist, playwright and satirist regarded as a key figure in postmodern literature. Best known for novels such as At Swim-Two-Birds, The Third Policeman and An Béal Bocht and many satirical columns in The Irish Times Brian O'Nolan (5 October 1911 – 1 April 1966) was...

's satirical novel The Hard Life
The Hard Life
The Hard Life: An Exegesis of Squalor is a comic novel by Flann O'Brien . Published in 1961, it was O'Brien's fourth novel and the third to be published....

, where the Irish characters travel from Dublin to Rome and gain a personal interview with the Pope, which ends very badly.

Literature

During the pope's lifetime:
Monsignor E. Canon Schmitz. Life of Pius X (New York: The American Catholic Publication Society, 1907).
Monsignor Hartwell De La Garde Grissell. Sede Vacante: Being a Diary Written During the Conclave of 1903 (Oxford: James Parke and Co., 1903)
Monsignor Anton de Waal. Life of Pope Pius X, trans. Joseph William Berg (Milwaukee: The M.H. Wiltzius Company, 1904)
Edward Schmidlin. Life of His Holiness, Pope Pius X. (this was an apologetic work intended for American audiences, where criticism of 'popery' was very common in society, and it contained a preface by James Cardinal Gibbons)

After the Pope's death:
Mother Frances Alice Forbes, Life of Pius X (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1918, 2nd ed. 1924) (Merry del Val(see above) considered this work to be the most authoritative written on him)
Rene Bazin. Pius X. (St Louis. B. Herder Book Co., 1928)
Katherine Kurt Burton. The Great Mantle: The Life of Giuseppe Sarto. (Longmens Press, 1950)
Father Francis Beauchesne Thornton. The Burning Flame: The Life of Pius X (Benziger Brothers, 1952) This priest was the editor for Burton's book.
Teri Martini. The Fisherman's Ring: The Life of Giuseppe Sarto, The Children's Pope. (St Anthony Guild Press, 1954)

See also

  • St. Pius X Seminary
    St. Pius X Seminary
    The Seminary of St. Pius X , or St. Pius X Seminary, is a Filipino Roman Catholic secondary school and seminary in the Lawaan hills, Roxas City, Capiz in the Philippines run by the Catholic priests of the Archdiocese of Capiz. The seminary and its surrounding areas comprise some three hectares of...

    , Philippines
  • Society of St. Pius X
    Society of St. Pius X
    The Society of Saint Pius X is an international Traditionalist Catholic organisation, founded in 1970 by the French archbishop Marcel Lefebvre...

  • List of Encyclicals of Pope Pius X
  • Reform of the Roman Breviary by Pope Pius X

External links


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