Aug 21: St Pius X (1835-1914)

pius xBorn in Riese near Venice Italy in 1835, Giuseppe Sarto was the son of the village postman.  Ordained in 1858, he is one of the few popes to have spent a substantial period in parochial ministry.  After serving as bishop of Mantua and patriarch of Venice, he succeeded Leo XIII as Pope Pius X in 1903.  He defended Catholic doctrine against modernism, described as the ‘synthesis of all heresies,’ and also promoted the dignified celebration of the liturgy.  Aiming ‘to restore all things in Christ,’ he extended the practice of frequent communion and authorised first holy communion at the age of reason.  He died as World War I started in 1914.  He was canonised in 1954. – CTS New Daily Roman Missal 2012, p 2930; Vatican II Weekday Missal 1975, p 1741

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