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Pope St.Pius X
Papacy began 5 August 1903
Papacy ended 20 August 1914
Predecessor Leo XIII
Successor Benedict XV
Personal details
Birth name Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto
Born 2 June 1835(1835-06-02)
Riese, Lombardy-Venetia, Austrian Empire
Died 20 August 1914 (aged 79)
Apostolic Palace, Rome
Signature Pope Pius X's signature
Other Popes named Pius

Pope Saint Pius X (Latin: Pius PP. X) (2 June 1835 – 20 August 1914), born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, was the 258th Pope of the Catholic Church, serving from 1903 to 1914, succeeding Pope Leo XIII (1878–1903). He was the first pope since Pope Pius V (1566–72) to be canonised. Pius X codified Catholic doctrines to inspire conformity in the church and rejected modernism. His most important reform codified Church law in a central fashion. He was a pastoral pope, encouraging personal piety and a lifestyle reflecting Christian values. He was born in the pastoral town of Riese.

Pope Pius was a Marian Pope, whose encyclical Ad Diem Illum 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 Mary to achieve this goal.[1] 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, 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 in Europe.

His immediate predecessor had actively promoted a synthesis between the Catholic Church and secular culture; faith and science; and divine revelation and reason.[2] Pius X defended the Catholic faith against popular 19th century views such as indifferentism and relativism which his predecessors had warned against as well.[3] He followed the example of Leo XIII by promoting Thomas Aquinas and Thomism as the principal philosophical method to be taught in Catholic institutions. Pius opposed the theological school of thought known as modernism, which claimed that Roman Catholic Dogma itself 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, philosophy and dogma.[4]

Personally, Pius combined within himself a strong sense of compassion, benevolence, poverty, but also stubbornness, and a certain stiffness.[5] He wanted to be pastor and was the only pope in the 20th century who gave Sunday sermons every week. His charity was extraordinary, filling the Vatican with refugees from the 1908 Messina quake, long before the Italian government began to act on its own.[6] 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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[7]

Early life and ministry

Kitchen of the Sarto family in Riese

Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto was born in Riese, province of Treviso (Veneto), 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 6 kilometers to school each day.

Giuseppe had 3 brothers and 6 sisters : Giuseppe Sarto, 1834 (died after 6 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 6 months).[8]

At a young age, Giuseppe studied Latin with his village priest, and went on to study at the gymnasium of Castelfranco Veneto. "In 1850 he received the tonsure from the Bishop of Treviso, and was given a scholarship [from] the Diocese of Treviso" to attend the Seminary of Padua, "where he finished his classical, philosophical, and theological studies with distinction".[9]

A young Giuseppe Sarto

On 18 September 1858, Sarto was ordained a priest, and became chaplain at Tombolo. While there, Father Sarto expanded his knowledge of theology, studying both Saint Thomas Aquinas and canon law, while carrying out most of the functions of the parish pastor, who was quite ill. In 1867, he was named Archpriest of Salzano. 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 plague that swept into northern Italy in the early 1870s. He was named a canon of the cathedral and Chancellor of the Diocese of Treviso, also holding offices such as spiritual director and rector of the Treviso seminary, and examiner of the clergy. As Chancellor he made it possible for public school students to receive religious instruction.

In 1878 Bishop Zanelli died, leaving the Bishopric of Treviso 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 and moral theology at the seminary in Treviso.

Cardinal and Patriarch

Cardinal Sarto

Pope Leo XIII made him a cardinal in a secret consistory on 12 June 1893. He was named Cardinal-Priest of San Bernardo alle Terme. Three days after this, Cardinal Sarto was publicly named Patriarch of Venice. 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. The poor relations between the Roman Curia and the Italian civil government since the annexation of the Papal States in 1870 placed additional strain on the appointment. The number of vacant sees soon grew to thirty. Sarto was finally permitted to assume the position of Patriarch in 1894.

As Cardinal-Patriarch, Sarto steered clear of political involvement, allocating his time for social works and strengthening parochial banks. However, in his first pastoral letter 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, Mariano Cardinal Rampolla del Tindaro. On the first ballot, Cardinal Rampolla del Tindaro received 24 votes, Cardinal Gotti had 17 votes, and Cardinal Sarto 5 votes. On the second ballot, Rampolla del Tindaro had gained 5 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 Maurycy Paweł Cardinal Puzyna de Kosielsko from Cracow in the name of Emperor Franz Joseph (1848–1916) of Austria-Hungary, was proclaimed. Many among the conclave, including Rampolla del Tindaro, 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 del Tindaro with 30 votes and Sarto with 24. It seemed clear that the cardinals were moving toward Cardinal Sarto.

On the following morning, the fifth vote of the conclave was taken, and the count had Rampolla with 10 votes, Gotti with 2 votes, and Sarto with 50 votes. Thus, on 4 August 1903, Cardinal Sarto was elected to the 258th 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 use of the Austro-Hungarian veto and vowed to rescind these powers and excommunicate anyone who leaked information 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 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 (1846–78), who had fought against theological liberals and for papal supremacy. Pius X's traditional coronation took place on the following Sunday, 9 August 1903.


Styles of
{{{papal name}}}
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken style Your Holiness
Religious style Holy Father
Posthumous style Saint

Pope Pius X in the Vatican Gardens

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."

Church reforms and theology

Restoration in Christ and mariology

Pius X promoted daily communion. In his 1904 encyclical Ad Diem Illum, 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.[10] 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[11] from the womb of Mary like a body united to its head. Though 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).[12]

Tra le sollecitudini and Gregorian chant

Within three months of his coronation, Pius X published his motu proprio Tra le sollecitudini (possibly co-written by his friend Lorenzo Perosi). Classical and Baroque compositions had long been favoured over Gregorian chant 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, 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, particularly in the Liturgy of the Hours (which he reformed considerably - see Reform of the Roman Breviary by Pope Pius X) and the Holy Mass.

In addition to restoring to prominence the Gregorian Chant, he placed a renewed liturgical emphasis on the Eucharist, 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" (about seven years old), as well, though he did not permit a return to the older practice of infant communion. In conjunction, he also emphasized frequent recourse to the Sacrament of Penance in order 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.


Pius X's papacy featured vigorous condemnation of what he termed 'modernists' and 'relativists' who endangered the Catholic faith (see for example his Oath Against Modernism). 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 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[13] (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, biblical exegesis, the sacraments, and the divinity of Christ. This was followed by the encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis (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.

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.

Catechism of Saint Pius X

Pius X in his study

The Catechism of Pope St. Pius X is his realisation of a simple, plain, brief, popular Catechism 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.[14] 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."[15] The Catechism was extolled as a method of religious teaching in his encyclical "Acerbo Nimis" of April 1905.[16]

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.[17]

Asked in 2003, whether the almost 100-year-old Catechism of Saint Pius X was still valid, Cardinal Ratzinger 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."[18]

Reform of Canon Law

The Canon Laws of 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 to be the Canon law for the twentieth century. Two of his successors worked in the commission, G. della Chiesa, to become Pope Benedict XV and Eugenio Pacelli, to become Pope Pius XII. The new Canon Law was decreed after the death of Pius X, by Benedict XV in 1917.

Reform of Church administration

Pius X reformed the Roman Curia 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

Cardinal Secretary Merry del Val and Monsignor Eugenio Pacelli at the signing ceremony of the Serbian concordat underneath the picture of Pius X, 24 June 1914

Pius X reversed the accommodating approach of Leo XIII towards secular governments, appointing Rafael Merry del Val as Cardinal Secretary of State. When the President of France Émile Loubet visited 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, 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 1908 the papal decree Ne Temere came into effect which complicated mixed marriages. 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.[19] 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, and contributed indirectly to the subsequent political conflict there.

As secular authority challenged that of the papacy, Pius X became more aggressive. He suspended the Opera dei Congressi, which coordinated the work of Catholic associations in Italy, as well as condemning Le Sillon, a French social movement that tried to reconcile the Church with liberal political views. He also opposed trade unions that were not exclusively Catholic.

Pius X partially lifted decrees forbidding 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 stance but with the rise of socialism he began to allow the Non Expedit to be relaxed. In 1905 in his encyclical 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 Tsar Nicolas issued a decree 22 February 1903, promising religious freedom for the Catholic Church, and, in 1905, promulgated a constitution, which included religious freedom,[20] the Russian Orthodox Church felt threatened and insisted on stiff interpretations. Papal decrees were not permitted and contacts with the Vatican remained outlawed.

Other activities

Pius X consecrates as a Bishop Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chiesa, the future Pope Benedict XV, in the Vatican in 1907

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

Pius X beatified ten individuals and canonized four. Those beatified during his pontificate, were Marie Genevieve Meunier (1906), Rose Chretien (1906), Valentin Faustino Berri Ochoa (1906), Saint Clarus (1907), Zdislava Berka (1907), John Bosco (1907), John van Ruysbroeck (1908), Andrew Nam Thung (1909), Agatha Lin (1909), Agnes De (1909), Joan of Arc (1909), and John Eudes (1909). Those canonized by him were Alexander Sauli (1904), Gerard Majella (1904), Clement Mary Hofbauer (1909), and Joseph Oriol (1909).

Pius X published sixteen encyclicals; among them was Vehementer nos on February 11, 1906, which condemned the 1905 French law on the separation of the State and the Church. Pius X also confirmed, though not infallibly,[21] the existence of Limbo 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."[22] On 23 November 1903, Pius X issued a papal directive, a motu proprio, that banned women from singing in church choirs.

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

Death and burial

Pius X at his deathbed

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 (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 Franz Xavier Wernz.

Following his death, Pius X was buried in a simple and unadorned tomb in the crypt below St. Peter's Basilica. 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.


The statue of Pope St. Pius X in St. Peter's Basilica

Pope Saint Pius X
Pope Pius X after his election
Pope, Confessor
Born 2 June 1835, Riese, Italy
Died 20 August 1914, Apostolic Palace, Rome
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 3 June 1951 by Pope Pius XII
Canonized 29 May 1954 by Pope Pius XII
Feast 21 August
3 September (General Roman Calendar 1955-1969)
Patronage Archdiocese of Atlanta, Georgia; diocese of Des Moines, Iowa; first communicants; Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, Montana; archdiocese of Kottayam, India; pilgrims; Santa Luċija, Malta; Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Archdiocese of Zamboanga, Philippines

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, in excess of 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".[23] Masses were held near his tomb until 1930.

Devotion to Pius X between the two world wars 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. On 19 August 1939, Pope Pius XII (1939–58) delivered a tribute to Pius X at Castel Gandolfo. On 12 February 1943, a further development of Pius X's cause was achieved, when he was declared to have displayed heroic virtues, 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".[23] After the examination and the end of the apostolic process towards Pius X's cause, Pius XII bestowed the title of Venerable Servant of God upon Pius X. His body was exposed for 45 days, before being placed back in his tomb.

Pius X during his lying in state, 21-22 August 1914

Following this, the process towards beatification began, and thus investigations by the Sacred Congregation of Rites (S.C.R.) into miracles 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 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 officially approved the two miracles on 11 February 1951; and on 4 March, Pius XII, in his De Tuto, declared that the Church could proceed 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.

The tomb of Pope Pius X

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 who had a fatal pulmonary abscess, 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 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[24] of the faithful and church officials at St. Peter's Basilica. Pius X became the first Pope to be canonized since the 17th century.

Prayer cards often depict the sanctified Pontiff with instruments of Holy Communion. 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.

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 of Pope John XXIII, whose continued use as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite 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).[25]

Papal coat of arms

Coat of arms of Pius X

The papal arms of Pius X are composed of the traditional elements of all papal heraldry prior to Pope Benedict XVI: the shield, the papal tiara, and the keys. 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, 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, which refers to the motto of Venice Pax tibi Marce, Evangelista meus, which is Latin for Peace to you, Mark my evangelist. This motto refers to Venice as the final resting place of Saint Mark. 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.


See also

  • St. Pius X Seminary, Philippines
  • Society of St. Pius X
  • List of Encyclicals of Pope Pius X
  • Reform of the Roman Breviary by Pope Pius X


  1. Ad diem illum 5 (
  2. Joseph Lortz, Geschichte der Kirche, Münster, 1934, §113
  3. Gregory XVI Mirari Vos, 1832, Pius IX, Syllabus of Errors.
  4. Lortz §113,2
  5. Hans Kühner Lexikon der Päpste, Fischer Frankfurt, 1960 183
  6. 6.0 6.1 Kühner 183
  7. 7.0 7.1
  9. Catholic Encyclopedia: Pope Pius X
  10. Ad diem illum 10
  11. (Ephes. v., 30),
  12. Ad diem illum laetissimum 10
  13. Lamentabili Sane
  14. Catechism of Saint Pius X, p. 3
  15. Cardinal Ratzinger on the Abridged Version of Catechism. In better English translation: "The text ... was characterized by simplicity of exposition and depth of content. That is also a reason why the Catechism of Saint Pius X may still find friends in the future"(Interview with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger).
  16. Acerbo Nimis 1905 text
  17. Catechism of Saint Pius X, p. 2
  18. Interview with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
  19. John S. Moir, "Canadian Protestant Reaction to the Ne Temere Decree"
  20. Schmidlin III, 125
  21. Out On A Limbo
  22. Past Roman Catholic statements about Limbo and the destination of unbaptised infants who die?
  23. 23.0 23.1 CANONIZATION OF POPE PIUS X BY POPE PIUS XII :: Angelus Online :: The Angelus Magazine Online
  24. The Canon Process - Museo San Pio X
  25. Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), pp. 101 and 137


  • F. A. Forbes, Pope St. Pius X, London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd 1918/TAN Books and Publishers, Inc (revised 1954)
  • J.O. Smit & G. dal Gal. Beato Pio X, Amsterdam: N.V. Drukkerij De Tijd 1951 (translated by J.H. van der Veldt as St. Pius X Pope, Boston, Mass.: Daughters of St. Paul 1965)
  • G.A. Bavoux, Le porteur de lumière, Paris: Pygmalion 1996

External links

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Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Domenico Agostini
Patriarch of Venice
1893 – 1903
Succeeded by
Aristide Cavallari
Preceded by
1903 – 1914
Succeeded by
Benedict XV
Popes of the Roman Catholic Church
PeterLinusAnacletusClement IEvaristusAlexander ISixtus ITelesphorusHyginusPius IAnicetusSoterEleuterusVictor IZephyrinusCallixtus IUrban IPontianAnterusFabianCorneliusLucius IStephen ISixtus IIDionysiusFelix IEutychianCaiusMarcellinusMarcellus IEusebiusMiltiadesSilvester IMarkJulius ILiberiusDamasus ISiriciusAnastasius IInnocent IZosimusBoniface ICelestine ISixtus IIILeo IHilariusSimpliciusFelix IIIGelasius IAnastasius IISymmachusHormisdasJohn IFelix IVBoniface IIJohn IIAgapetus ISilveriusVigiliusPelagius IJohn IIIBenedict IPelagius IIGregory ISabinianBoniface IIIBoniface IVAdeodatus IBoniface VHonorius ISeverinusJohn IVTheodore IMartin IEugene IVitalianAdeodatus IIDonusAgathoLeo IIBenedict IIJohn VCononSergius IJohn VIJohn VIISisinniusConstantineGregory IIGregory IIIZacharyStephen IIPaul IStephen IIIAdrian ILeo IIIStephen IVPaschal IEugene IIValentineGregory IVSergius IILeo IVBenedict IIINicholas IAdrian IIJohn VIIIMarinus IAdrian IIIStephen VFormosusBoniface VIStephen VIRomanusTheodore IIJohn IXBenedict IVLeo VSergius IIIAnastasius IIILandoJohn XLeo VIStephen VIIJohn XILeo VIIStephen VIIIMarinus IIAgapetus IIJohn XIILeo VIIIBenedict VJohn XIIIBenedict VIBenedict VIIJohn XIVJohn XVGregory VSilvester IIJohn XVIIJohn XVIIISergius IVBenedict VIIIJohn XIXBenedict IXSilvester IIIBenedict IXGregory VIClement IIBenedict IXDamasus IILeo IXVictor IIStephen IXNicholas IIAlexander IIGregory VIIVictor IIIUrban IIPaschal IIGelasius IICallixtus IIHonorius IIInnocent IICelestine IILucius IIEugene IIIAnastasius IVAdrian IVAlexander IIILucius IIIUrban IIIGregory VIIIClement IIICelestine IIIInnocent IIIHonorius IIIGregory IXCelestine IVInnocent IVAlexander IVUrban IVClement IVGregory XInnocent VAdrian VJohn XXINicholas IIIMartin IVHonorius IVNicholas IVCelestine VBoniface VIIIBenedict XIClement VJohn XXIIBenedict XIIClement VIInnocent VIUrban VGregory XIUrban VIBoniface IXInnocent VIIGregory XIIMartin VEugene IVNicholas VCallixtus IIIPius IIPaul IISixtus IVInnocent VIIIAlexander VIPius IIIJulius IILeo XAdrian VIClement VIIPaul IIIJulius IIIMarcellus IIPaul IVPius IVPius VGregory XIIISixtus VUrban VIIGregory XIVInnocent IXClement VIIILeo XIPaul VGregory XVUrban VIIIInnocent XAlexander VIIClement IXClement XInnocent XIAlexander VIIIInnocent XIIClement XIInnocent XIIIBenedict XIIIClement XIIBenedict XIVClement XIIIClement XIVPius VIPius VIILeo XIIPius VIIIGregory XVIPius IXLeo XIIIPius XBenedict XVPius XIPius XIIJohn XXIIIPaul VIJohn Paul IJohn Paul IIBenedict XVIFrancis

ar:بيوس العاشر be:Пій X, папа рымскі br:Pi X bg:Пий X ca:Pius X cs:Pius X. cy:Pab Pïws X da:Pave Pius 10. et:Pius X eo:Pio la 10-a eu:Pio X.a fa:پیوس دهم ga:Pápa Pius X gl:Pío X, papa ko:교황 비오 10세 hr:Pio X. id:Paus Pius X jv:Paus Pius X pam:Papa Pius X ka:პიუს X sw:Papa Pius X la:Pius X lt:Pijus X hu:X. Piusz pápa mk:Папа Пие X mr:पोप पायस दहावा ja:ピウス10世 (ローマ教皇) no:Pius X oc:Piu X pt:Papa Pio X ro:Papa Pius al X-lea ru:Пий X (папа римский) sco:Pape Pius X sk:Pius X. sl:Papež Pij X. sr:Пије X fi:Pius X sv:Pius X tl:Pío X th:สมเด็จพระสันตะปาปาปิอุสที่ 10 uk:Пій X vi:Piô X war:Papa Pío X zh:庇護十世