Centenary of the Death of Saint Pius X

Centenary of the Death of Saint Pius X  

Giuseppe Sarto (Saint Pius X) was born in Riese, Italy. He was of strong character and had a natural predisposition for study, which helped him enter the seminary and respond to his vocation which he received at a young age. He was ordained a priest and showed great dynamism and a remarkable ability in relating to others, thus gaining the admiration of his parishioners and confreres. He always carried out his pastoral duties with great dedication and competence, and so it came as no surprise that Pope Leo XIII appointed him Bishop of Mantua, Italy, in September 1884. The Pope appreciated his work in the diocese, and so on 12 June 1893, he elevated him to the dignity of cardinal by appointing him Patriarch of Venice. On 4 August 1903, after four days of voting, he was elected Pope and took the name Pius X. He carried out his papal ministry in continuity with the manner of his two immediate predecessors. In 1907 he promulgated his encyclical, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, which challenged the doctrines of the modernists. Pope Pius X showed the same humility and great simplicity in living out Christian virtues also in the Vatican. It was said that one could sense his interior peace which could only come from a person placing his entire life in the hands of God. His motto was “To restore all things in Christ” and he worked to put it into practice by reforming the Roman Curia, drafting the new code of Canon Law, reforming the liturgy, as well as calling for singing and music in sacred functions, and making the catechism obligatory for children and adults. In 1914, shortly before he died, he left what was considered one of the most distinguished testaments to peace offered to future generations with his Apostolic Exhortation “Dum Europa”. On 29 May 1954 before a crowd of 800,000, Pope Pius XII presided over the ceremony of his canonization. The Philatelic and Numismatic Office will celebrate the centenary of his death with a two euro postage stamp, which displays the front of his funerary monument, the main work of Italian sculptor Pier Enrico Astorri, found in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.