Pope St. Pius X

August 21, 2018

Pope Saint Pius X was an Italian named Giuseppe Sarto, who was born near Treviso, Italy.  He was ordained in 1858, became bishop of Mantua in 1884, a Cardinal in 1893, and was elected Pope in August, 1903.   The pontificate of Pius X was noted for its conservative theology and reforms in liturgy and church law. In what became his motto, the Pope stated in 1903 that his papacy would undertake Instaurare Omnia in Christo, or “to restore all things in Christ.”  In St. Stephen Church, there is a mural on the Napoleon Street side of Pope St. Pius X, surrounded by children.  During his life he developed a reputation as being very friendly with children. He carried candy in his pockets for the street urchins in Mantua and Venice, and taught catechism to them. His weekly catechism lessons in the courtyard of San Damaso in the Vatican included a special place for children, and his decision to require the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) in every parish was motivated by a desire to reclaim children from religious ignorance.  In 1910, he issued the decree Quam singulari, which changed the age at which communion could be received from 12 to 7 years old.  He was canonized in 1953.