Pope St. Pius X

Feast Days: August 21
Time Period: 1835 -1914
Place: Italy
Patronage: First Communicants, Pilgrims

Guiseppe Melchiorre Sarto was from a poor farming family in Italy. Fr. Sarto loved his work of preaching, teaching and administration and was not happy about his appointment as Bishop of Mantua. This was a time of government opposition to religion. On July 20, 1903, Bishop Sarto was elected pope. When he heard the news, “he bent his head, broke into tears and whispered, ‘Thy will be done.’” Pope Pius X’s motto “to restore all things in Christ” (Eph 1:10) fit his work as he reformed seminaries, the liturgy and Breviary, instructed the laity in the knowledge of God, encouraged frequent reception of Holy Communion, and oversaw the construction of the Code of Canon Law. His greatest achievement was a successful fight against the heresy of Modernism, a belief that the Church should adjust to fit the prevailing philosophies and should not be in the public square.