Pius X (Guiseppe Melchior Sarto), Pope
Feast Day: August 21
Canonized: May 29, 1954
Beatified: June 3, 1951
Venerated: September 3, 1950
Giuseppe Sarto was born in 1835 to a poor but faithful family in Italy. He never understood the importance that was always placed on money. He was very content with what he already had and didn’t want anything more. Giuseppe placed great value on his relationship with God. He held the belief that as long as he had his faith and the love of God, he had everything that he needed.
Giuseppe’s devotion to his faith led him to pursue a career as a priest. He was ordained in 1858 and was considered to be a good and kind priest. His selfless nature and modesty earned him a great deal of positive attention. He worked with the sick and the poor and was involved in religious education of young people, especially those whose families could not afford to send them to church schools.
In 1903 Giuseppe was elected pope. He took the name Pius X.
As pope, Pius began to share his belief in the importance of the sacrament of Holy Communion. He always felt that going to communion often was one of the ways a person could be closest to God. Pius strongly felt that the younger a person could receive their first communion the better. This just made them that much closer to knowing the full glory of God. Pius enacted a law that made the age of a person’s first communion to be around seven years. He also collected all of the laws of the church into one book, which is called the Code of Canon Law.
Pius was pope for 11 years and is remembered with much love and fondness. He taught weekly catechism classes in a Vatican courtyard with children included at them. People who met him often said they felt they had met a saint, and it was said that several miracles credited to him occurred while he was still living. He will always be remembered for his simplicity and poverty.
Before he died in 1914, Pius was heard to say, “I was born poor and I will die poor.”
He was named a saint in 1954, just 40 years after his death.
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