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St. Pius X

Feast Day: September 3

Pope Pius X, whose name previously was Joseph Sarto, was born in a village called Riese in the Venetian province. He enrolled among the students in the seminary of Padua and, when he had been ordained priest, was first a curate in the town of Tombolo, then pastor at Salzano, then canon and chancellor of the bishop’s curia at Treviso. He was so outstanding in holiness that Leo XIII made him bishop of the Church of Mantua. Lacking in nothing that makes a good pastor, he labored particularly to teach young men called to the priesthood; he fostered the beauty of divine worship and the growth of devout associations; he saw to the needs of the poor with generous charity. Because of his great merits, he was made a cardinal and created patriarch of Venice.

After the death of Pope Leo XIII he took up the supreme pontificate like a cross, having refused it in vain. Placed upon the chair of Peter, he gave up nothing of his former way of life. He shone especially in humility, simplicity and poverty. He ruled the Church firmly and adorned it with brilliant teachings. As a most vigilant guardian of the faith, he condemned and suppressed Modernism, the sum of all heresies; as a most zealous defender of the freedom of the Church, he boldly resisted those who strove to bring about her downfall; he provided for the sound education of clerics, brought the laws of the Church together into one body; and greatly fostered the cult and more frequent reception of the Eucharist.

Worn out with his labors and overcome with grief at the Eurpopean war which had just begun, he went to the heavenly homeland on August 20 in the year 1914. Pope Pius XII numbered him among the Saints.

Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. III: August to Advent (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), p. 1494.

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