The Pope of the Eucharist

Saint of the Day:  Pope Saint Pius X

Italian, b. 1835, d. 1914

one of 10 children, from simple origins

I was born poor, I have lived poor, and I wish to die poor.

ordained priest in 1858; elected 257th pope in 1903; canonized in 1954

papal motto:  Instaurare Omnia in Christo (to restore all things in Christ)

known for renewing the liturgy and restoring prominence of Gregorian chant; began process to codify canon law; opposed modernist interpretations of Catholic doctrine

reduced the age for reception of holy communion from 12 to 7, when it is believed children have reached the age of reason; promoted frequent and daily communion for all Catholics, many of whom at that time received only three or four times per year

worked to increase devotion in both the clergy and the laity; devoted to the Blessed Virgin under the title Our Lady of Confidence

lifted the United States out of “missionary” status in 1908

Writings of Pius X

But since it is plain that by the frequent or daily reception of the Holy Eucharist union with Christ is strengthened, the spiritual life more abundantly sustained, the soul more richly endowed with virtues, and the pledge of everlasting happiness more securely bestowed on the recipient, therefore, parish priests, confessors and preachers, according to the approved teaching of the Roman Catechism should exhort the faithful frequently and with great zeal to this devout and salutary practice. — Sacra Tridentina, 1905

…whilst Jesus was kind to sinners and to those who went astray, He did not respect their false ideas, however sincere they might have appeared. He loved them all, but He instructed them in order to convert them and save them. Whilst He called to Himself in order to comfort them, those who toiled and suffered, it was not to preach to them the jealousy of a chimerical equality. Whilst He lifted up the lowly, it was not to instill in them the sentiment of a dignity independent from, and rebellious against, the duty of obedience. Whilst His heart overflowed with gentleness for the souls of good-will, He could also arm Himself with holy indignation against the profaners of the House of God, against the wretched men who scandalized the little ones, against the authorities who crush the people with the weight of heavy burdens without putting out a hand to lift them. He was as strong as he was gentle. He reproved, threatened, chastised, knowing, and teaching us that fear is the beginning of wisdom, and that it is sometimes proper for a man to cut off an offending limb to save his body. Finally, He did not announce for future society the reign of an ideal happiness from which suffering would be banished; but, by His lessons and by His example, He traced the path of the happiness which is possible on earth and of the perfect happiness in heaven: the royal way of the Cross. These are teachings that it would be wrong to apply only to one’s personal life in order to win eternal salvation; these are eminently social teachings, and they show in Our Lord Jesus Christ something quite different from an inconsistent and impotent humanitarianism. — Our Apostolic Mandate, Pius X to French bishops, 1910


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