3 September: Feast of St Pius X: Greatest Pope of 20 Century – “Miracle Saint”…

The light that shone in the Church during eleven years of pontificate was extinguished on August 20, 1914. Pope Pius X fell sick on the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady (Aug. 15) and received extreme unction and Holy Viaticum before dying. He was buried August 23, and his tomb immediately became the object of a popular devotion. 

Santo Subito

Pope Pius X’s reputation of sanctity was immediate. This was undoubtedly due to his qualities as a “miracle-saint” but also on account of the respect he inspired by his supernatural bearing. A number of cardinals, archbishops, bishops, vicars and prefects apostolic, pious societies, groups of Catholic Action, Catholic universities, and many of the faithful quickly wrote expressing their desire to see Pius X proclaimed a saint without delay. Thus in a letter dated September 24, 1916, Msgr. Leo, Bishop of Nicotera and Tropea, speaks of “a great saint and a great pope.”

The flood of pilgrims was such that the Vatican crypt could no longer contain them all. As a result, Cardinal Merry del Val, archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, had a small metal cross set into the floor of the basilica so that the faithful might kneel down directly above the tomb. The cross bore the inscription Pius Papa X.

Cardinal Merry del Val, the former Secretary of State of Pope Pius X celebrated Holy Mass near the tomb on the 20th of every month, until February 20, 1930, when he did so for the last time–six days before his own death.   Click here to read more…

Comment: 

Do you agree with the Pope’s claim about weak Catholics?   Can there be any doubt?  Is there anything, in particular, in the above article which provides insights into the greatness of Pius X?  Share your thoughts…

40 responses

    • Bill,

      That video has been posted on this blog recently and you are right, those young men are very brave, indeed. However, I apologise for not spelling it out that it would be good to read bloggers’ views on the pope’s life more broadly; I can see why you focused on the quote about weak Catholics, but I hope this thread is not limited by that. I’ve now gone into the introduction to add a few words to this effect, in my “comment”.

      I’d be interested to know, for example, what you think of the article posted in the introduction. Did it inspire you with any thoughts and/or insights into the life of this great pope?

      • Editor,

        I’ve not had time to read the article but I will do. Everything I’ve ever read about Pope Pius X has been positive, very positive. I’m sure the headline is accurate, “the greatest pope of the 20 century”. My main memory of him, which I must have read or heard somewhere, is that he was of very humble origins, and never forgot he was raised in poverty and loved the poor.

      • Editor,
        Like Athanasius, I too had the privilage of praying before the remains of Pope Pius X through the glass casket in St. Peter’s Basicila. As I have an interest in photography for many years I was able to take a quality photo on the same occasion as it was relatively quiet that day. What can one add to what has already been said about this great saint except to say will we ever in our lifetime see his like again?. I think perhaps when the world is properly disposed, when the Fatima message is been lived, and the Consecration is finally done , then we might see again a great Pope. But as Our Lady said it will be in the end, and only God knows what the world must go through before then, but victory is assured. I vaguely remember reading one time of Pius X and his dislike of having to be dressed up in the Papal regalia, but bore it all humbly and patiently out of respect for and his sense of duty to the office, but I’m open to correction on that. Also during the cannonisation process it was said that the devil’s advocate would have his work cut out for him. Apparently one of two things he came up with was that the Pope at one time used to smoke one cigarette in the evening time, at which the Cardinals laughed as some of them had a fag in their hands at the time.

        • Bill,

          I think I remember reading in one account of his life (although it’s a good while since I’ve read it) that there were a number of things about the papal office which Pope Pius X personally disliked, but accepted out of respect for the office. I think the one thing he changed, was the rule about eating alone (unless I’m confusing him with someone else – I’m open to correction on that).

          So, he has provided the example of how to respect the trappings of office, however unwelcome, rather than what we’re seeing these days which is “I don’t like it, so it must go!”

          St Pius X, pray for Pope Francis!

    • Bill,

      I remember seeing that video before on here and you are right, Pius X would definitely not be talking about those Catholics, LOL! That priest would have had the sharp edge of Pius X’s tongue, no question about it.

      • Josephine,

        Those young Irish men in that video are exactly the kind of Catholics Pope Pius X would have praised. I agree that the priest would have been in trouble, though, and a good thing too. He’s a disgrace, as is his bishop.

  1. I love the story of Pius X’s life. It’s years since I read a biography but I’ve always considered him a very special pope and saint.

    His humility shines through and yet I remember how strict he was with priests who didn’t live up to their vocation. There was no false humility about him.

    In the article posted at the top of the thread, I was struck by the section Awaiting Miracles when his cause was introduced. Both of those miracles were spectacular, obviously supernatural cures.

  2. In Fr. Miceli’s book, The Antichrist I came across this passage this afternoon about the “Great Red Dragon” from the Apocalypse:

    “Now in prophetic symbolism falling stars almost always refers to tepid, weak or apostate bishops and priests who are harbingers of grief and disaster to the whole world…Such traitorous religious leaders and teachers ally themselves with the rebellious angels. Instead of using the keys of the Kingdom of God, which they have received from the Church through their priesthood and the mission of teaching the Gospel, so as to suppress and defeat the satanic forces incarnate in wicked men while advancing the holiness of the faithful, they rather abuse their powers to foster and propagate error and evil…Today too many fallen stars – rebellious bishops, priests, theologians, philosophers, nuns and Catholic intellectuals – are abusing their sacerdotal powers and intellectual gifts to seduce, enslave and precipitate into hell vast numbers of wayward sheep.”

    This passage made me think of Pope St. Pius X, because it was precisely these kind of Catholics against whom he fiercely battled during his all-too-short Pontificate.

    And speaking of these kinds of Catholics, here is a brilliant new satirical piece by an Italian priest entitled “How Satan Could Have Used Amoris Laetitia to Convince Eve to Sin”:

    https://catholicfamilynews.com/blog/2020/09/01/italian-priest-writes-theological-spoof-how-satan-could-have-used-amoris-laetitia-to-convince-eve-to-sin/

    • RCA Victor,

      I loved that satire, the “Amoris Laetitia” chat between Satan and Eve in the Garden of Eden, it’s really brilliant. LOL!

    • RCA Victor,

      I enjoyed the satirical conversation between Eve & Satan based on Amoris Laetitia – that was a real brainwave, helping to underline the sheer nonsense of AL.

  3. I have had the privilege of praying before St. Pius X’s remains in St. Peter’s Basilica, his body being in a glass casket close to the main entrance. I also came across a wonderful statue of the saint seated life size on a throne dressed in his Pontifical garments with the tripple crown on his head. It resides in a church in Venice and I was shocked by the fact that it has survived the conciliar revolution, given that St. Pius X was condemned all the errors that the Modernists now promote. Mind you, at that time there was a fairly Traditional Cardinal Patriarch in Vencice whose name I cannot recall. He has since been replaced and I often wonder if that statue of St. PIus X is still there. I do know that the daily ancient Mass that was celebrated in the church of St. Simon has been stopped and its parish priest Fr. Zu Lowenstein, a holy Traditional priest, has been transferred to another country. St. Pius X would be appalled.

    Anyway, I have a first class relic of this great Pope/Saint which I am immensely blessed to have. I remember reading in his life story how he used to remove his shoes as a child because his parents were poor and he wanted to save the shoe leather. He walked for miles barefoot to school and later to seminary. If you see pictures of him in older age there’s a beauty and youthfulness about his countenance that only the purest and holiest of saints possess. Compare with the bloated rough countenances of today’s careerist prelates and it tells its own story!

    • Athanasius,

      You are very blessed to have, not just a relic, but a first class relic of the saint! That’s amazing.

      I’ve heard that story before, about the young saint walking barefoot to school to save the shoe leather because his parents were so poor. That’s so touching. He really is the greatest pope saint of the 20th century and probably one of the greatest saints ever in the Church.

      • Michaela

        I am indeed very blessed to have this relic, which is “ex carne” (flesh) rather than the normal “ex ossibus” (bone) I am also very fortunate to have first class relics of St. Louis de Montfort, St. Jude, St. Athanusius, St. Lucy and Blessed Bartolo Longo. Then of course there is the not-nearly-so-holy working class relic that is myself!!

  4. It is a great pity that the wonderful encyclical against modernism written by Pope St Pius X is, I believe, no longer studied in seminaries and that the oath against modernism has been dropped too. I wonder who thought that was a good idea?
    What a huge gulf there is between Pius and Francis …and how sad to see.

  5. I agree that the encyclical of Pope Saint Pius X against Modernism isn’t used in seminaries any more – which might explain why we have so few (none in Scotland, at all!)

    It’s very sad to see the huge gulf between Francis and Pius X – again, I totally agree.

    Happy Feast day to everyone at CT!

    • Elizabeth & Michaela,

      It really is very sad indeed that the encyclical of Pope St Pius X on Modernism is no longer used in seminaries, and I remember the mockery of the oath against modernism, during my teacher training days. Dreadful.

      Yes, there is a massive gulf between Francis and Pope St Pius X – so, we might ask today’s saint to take a special interest in the Francis pontificate. One of his famous miracles would be very much appreciated here below, urgently!

      St Pius X, pray for Pope Francis!

  6. A belated Happy Feast of Saint Pius X everyone! What a beautiful saint he is.

    I agree we should pray to him for special intercession for Pope Francis.

  7. Forgive the interruption. I’ve just been baptized a Catholic as an adult, but I have an imperfect understanding of the faith. I’ve been reading articles like this online; is there anywhere I can get a very good overview of the basics?

    • New,

      Welcome to the Church – and to this blog! Any “interruptions” from you will be more than welcome, be assured.

      I’ll give some thought to your question about “a very good overview of the basics” – maybe others will be able to think of good sources which fit that description.

      In the meantime, please feel free to ask any questions or seek clarifications here; if there is no appropriate topic thread, then ask on our General Discussion thread – and remember, when we are learning, or unsure of anything, there is no such thing as a “stupid” question, so please feel free to ask anything at all.
      https://catholictruthblog.com/2019/11/27/general-discussion-17/#comments

      The General Discussion thread is found, from the Home page, right under the current topic thread, so just scroll down and you will find it easily enough.

      Again, a very warm welcome to you!

    • New,

      It’s great that you have been baptised – and it’s great that you want to learn more.

      I remembered a link being given on this blog to free traditional books, so I’ve searched for it for you and I think you will find it very useful – there are classics which you can read online.
      https://www.traditionalcatholic.co/free-catholicbooks/

      There’s loads of topics covered, so I hope you are helped by some of them, at least.

      • Thank you for the replies,

        To give an idea, I’ve always known that ‘heresy’, as used in the video above, is something bad. But I would not have been able to assign the word a much clearer meaning than that. I’ve since looked up the definition, and I have had recently to look up the word ‘religious’ too; I was surprised to see it used in a sermon as a noun. This is how much I am missing.

        Editor,

        I’ve read The Bible, but I am quite ignorant on church tradition and history. My catechism (another word I had to look up) classes covered only the 10 commandments and the sacraments.

        Laura,

        There are many, many books here. Are there one or two that you have read and would have me read? Also, someone at my church recommended I watch Fulton Sheen’s lectures. Is that a good recommendation?

        • New,

          I’ve been away from my computer all day, but I’d like to address a couple of points your post at 5:07am. Firstly, I’ve just received the following link in my inbox, which made me think immediately of you. An online “refresher” catechism class run by the Fatima Center in Canada
          https://fatima.org/event/basics-on-the-catholic-faith-catechism-series

          As you will know, having checked the definition of heresy, it refers to the corruption of doctrines of faith; the root of the word means “choice” – put simply, it means choosing to believe an error, a corruption of the true doctrine. Thus, to believe that after the Consecration of the bread and wine at Mass, only bread and wine remain (not the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord) is to believe a heresy – i.e. to believe a corruption of the truth, a corruption of the doctrine.

          Regarding “religious”: used as an adjective, a religious person or thing is something which has to do with the supernatural, with God. Since you have taken instructions in the Catholic religion and are now received into the Church, you are a religious person. If you were surprised to hear it in a sermon used as a noun, I’m thinking the reference may have been to nuns or monks, religious sisters, brothers or priests, who are sometimes referred to simply as “religious” (sometimes with the initial capitalized = Religious. Example: “Religious of the Order of the Society of Jesus have turned out to be a huge disappointment in recent years; sometimes, allegedly, they have preached heresy”!

          Tradition/History and the book list* I’ll leave for now, but if nobody else dives in, I’ll do my best to comment on those asap.

          * I would say, in passing, that any life of any saint would be helpful.

          • Thank you very much. I’ll watch those catechism classes on youtube. I’ve also downloaded PDFs for biographies of St. John of the Cross, St. Pius V, and St. Pius X. This should keep me more than plenty busy for now.

            As for the definitions. Fr. Adam Purdy kept referring to religious as “nuns or monks, religious sisters, brothers or priests”, as you note above, in phrases such as “the life of a religious &c.”. I assumed the definition when he kept using it repeatedly as a noun, but the use threw me as I had never heard it before.

            Thank you for the definition of heresy. Your definition and explanation is much better than that of Merriam-Webster online. My understanding of the word is much clearer now.

            There must be, then, a kind of dictionary for the church that has expanded forms, usages, and examples (like a law dictionary) that won’t be found in a common dictionary?!

            • New,

              Glad to have been of some help.

              I am, yet again, very short of time so this is just a quick word or two about Tradition.

              There is a distinction to be made between “tradition(s)” which we may have in our families or even nationally – such as a Burns Supper every 25 January to celebrate the importance of the national poet, Rabbie Burns and Catholic Tradition. Other popular traditions such as putting up Christmas trees and decorations are something we readily understand and, in a sense, they share a feature of Catholic Tradition, in that we have them in our time, because they have been handed on to us from previous generations. The only difference is, they are not divinely binding. We may choose not to bother with Christmas decorations and we may never attend a Burns Supper (I’ve only attended one in my entire lifetime.)

              The word Tradition comes from the Latin Traditio, which simply means “handing on” and Christianity was handed on from generation to generation, well before copies of the Bible were readily available (which didn’t happen until after the introduction of printing presses – so for 1500 years, Bibles were in very short supply!)

              Christianity is not, therefore, a “religion of the book” as is sometimes mistakenly claimed.

              St Paul’s letters are littered with his mention of passing on “what I have received”.

              So, from the beginning, the teachings of Christ were passed on orally and even when St Paul’s letters were in circulation, prior to the Gospels being published, he was making clear that he was drawing his information from Tradition.

              Thus, in Catholicism, both Tradition (which preceded the Christian writings) and Sacred Scripture have equal weight. Neither is more important than the other, a fact which has become obscured through the influence of the ecumenical movement.

              In summary, as one of the Fathers of the Church teaches, we can know if a teaching is authentically Christian, if it has been believed from the beginning, by all Christians, everywhere. Teachings such as the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady (in her mother’s womb) which are dogmas of the Faith despite not being explicitly mentioned in the Scriptures, are so, because they pass that “test” of Tradition.

              I’ll get back to you about Church history – I know of a really good history book which I think would be very useful for you but I need to check the title.

              .

              • New,

                Firstly, I’ve had an email from a reader asking how you know about Fr Purdy, who is an SSPX priest in the USA?

                Secondly, there is a history book which is very good, entitled Christ the King, Lord of History – a Catholic World History from Ancient to Modern Times, by Anne W. Carroll.

                Hope that helps.

  8. This was told me only a few days ago. A priest told me That the Bible and tradition are the same thing. He said that oral tradition existed before it was written down, and that tradition continued after The Biblical cannon was established. This is very hard to take; I’ve always been taught that sola scripitura is the law of the land.

    Thank you for the book recommendation. And thank you again for the replies! Fr. Adam Purdy? By chance. I must’ve put “catholic sermon”, or the like, into youtube. I watched many sermons I didn’t much like. Fr. Adam Purdy was cool though, and I’ve since watched all of his videos on youtube. I liked Fr. John Corapi too, and I’ve watched some of his videos. I spent some of today looking up “how to confess”, “how to make the sign of the cross” &c. on youtube. It is trial and error but there are some very good videos. The only sermons recommended to me on youtube were of Fulton Sheen, but I haven’t watched any yet. Do you know of him? Would you second that recommendation?

    • New,

      I would certainly recommend the sermons of Fulton Sheen but not Fr Corapi who was removed from active priestly work following allegations of misconduct.

      I am surprised that any priest thinks that the Bible and Tradition are the same thing. He’s wrong. I think I’ve already explained the difference so I won’t repeat myself. You can always check out the Catholic Encyclopaedia online if you want to confirm anything I’ve said here.
      https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/

      I’d be interested to know whereabouts in the world you live, your nationality etc. I live in Scotland and I’m Scots-born. And you…?

      • Laura & New,

        I’ve never said anything about who I am or my state in life, and I’ve been to confession in loads of different parishes. I was taught just to say “Bless me, Father for I have sinned, it is {however long – a month, 3 weeks, whatever) since my last confession. Since then I have sinned against {name the virtue, charity, purity, honesty, whatever, x number of times).

        I suppose if the sin calls for it, the priest might ask about the state in life or whatever, but I never heard that we are supposed to give any personal information like that.

  9. Editor,

    I read what you wrote and I was being lazy I guess. I didn’t mean that you and my priest had said the same thing, but that what you said reminded me of what he said. And he did say that The Bible and tradition are one and the same. At the same time, he emphasized his words by weaving his fingers together and clasping his hands. This is the same pries that said I should watch Fulton Sheen’s videos.

    I live in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The confession is much the same, but the words are different here.

  10. Athanasius,

    Perhaps. It has been 7+ years since I have been in a church in Quito. I wasn’t a Catholic then and I don’t remember any Marian imagery. I remember one church (cathedral?) that was entirely of gold leaf on the inside. It also had a pelican of gold to symbolize Christ in one of the side rooms. I don’t remember much besides that.

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