St. Pius X, August 21

Giuseppe Sarto was born in 1835 in the small village of Riese, Italy. He was ordained in 1858 and served God’s people as a curate (nine years), pastor (eight years), Spiritual Director of the diocesan seminary (nine years), bishop (nine years), cardinal (eight years) and pope (eleven years.) During his pontificate, Pius X confronted, challenged and inspired many critical issues facing the Church. He is referred to as the “Pope of the Eucharist” because he encouraged frequent and fervent reception of communion for all Catholics, especially children who had reached seven years of age. He established and promoted the practice of looking at the elevated Host while interiorly praying the words of St. Thomas, “My Lord and My God.” He reformed the liturgy and Gregorian chant. Pius X took as his papal motto, the passage from Paul, “To restore all things in Christ, that Christ might be all and in all.” He died in 1914 and was canonized in 1954. His will read, “I was born poor; I lived poor; I wish to die poor.”