photo credits: Wikimedia Commons
Catholic Pope and saintwd:Q43739
country of citizenship:
Kingdom of Italy
language of expression: Italian, Latin
occupation: Catholic priest, catholic deacon
award received: Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre
position held: pope, patriarch of Venice, cardinal, Catholic bishop, canon, chancellor, parson, vicar, diocesan bishop
Pope Pius X (Italian: Pio X; born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto; 2 June 1835 – 20 August 1914) was head of the Catholic Church from August 1903 to his death in 1914. Pius X is known for vigorously opposing modernist interpretations of Catholic doctrine, promoting liturgical reforms and scholastic philosophy and theology. He initiated the preparation of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, the first comprehensive and systemic work of its kind. He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church.
Pius X was devoted to the Marian title of Our Lady of Confidence; while his papal encyclical Ad diem illum took on a sense of renewal that was reflected in the motto of his pontificate. He advanced the Liturgical Movement by formulating the principle of participatio actuosa (active participation) of the faithful in his motu proprio Tra le sollecitudini (1903), he encouraged the frequent reception of holy communion, and he lowered the age for First Communion, which became a lasting innovation of his papacy. Like his predecessors, he promoted Thomism as the principal philosophical method to be taught in Catholic institutions. As Roman pontiff, he vehemently opposed modernism and various nineteenth-century philosophies, which he viewed as an import of secular errors incompatible with Catholic dogma. He also reformed the Roman Curia (Apostolic Constitution Sapienti consilio, 1908).
Pius X was known for his overall firm demeanor and sense of personal poverty. He frequently gave homily sermons in the pulpit every week, a rare practice at the time. After the 1908 Messina earthquake he filled the Apostolic Palace with refugees, long before the Italian government acted. He rejected any kind of favours for his family; his close relatives chose to remain in poverty living near Rome. During his pontificate, many famed Marian images were granted a canonical coronation, namely the Our Lady of Aparecida, Our Lady of the Pillar, Our Lady of the Cape, Our Lady of Chiquinquira of Colombia, Our Lady of San Juan de los Lagos, Our Lady of La Naval de Manila, Virgin of Help of Venezuela, Our Lady of Carmel of New York, and the Immaculate Conception within the Chapel of the Choir inside Saint Peter's Basilica were granted its prestigious honors.
After his death, a strong cult of devotion followed his reputation of piety and holiness. He was beatified in 1951 and was canonized on 29 May 1954. The traditionalist Catholic priestly Society of Saint Pius X is named in his honor while a grand statue bearing his name stands within St. Peter's Basilica; and his birth town was renamed Riese Pio X after his death.
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