St. Pius X History

St. Pius X was born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto on June 2, 1835, in Treviso near Venice. He was one of ten children. His father was a cobbler and postman and his mother a seamstress.  In 1850, at age 15, Giuseppe entered the seminary at Padua and eight years later was ordained a priest. He quickly became known as a gentle pastor who loved to serve his flock, especially the poor.  He was a talented leader and was later appointed bishop of the Italian city of Mantua and the archbishop of Venice.  However, both of these positions were offered to him only after debate within the church.  Some people thought such positions should be given only to priests from the upper classes and not a peasant country priest. In 1893 he was elevated to the College of Cardinals by Pope Leo XIII.

Following the death of Pope Leo XIII in 1903, Cardinal Sarto was elected pope, the first peasant to hold that office since the Middle Ages.  He chose to be called Pius X and served as pope for 11 years, during which time he worked “To renew all things in Christ.”

St. Pius X believed children should be allowed to receive holy communion as soon as they were old enough to understand its importance.  He took steps to improve Christian education for children and adults.  He improved church music and simplified the liturgical calendar.  He encouraged people to read scripture every day. For these reasons St. Pius X is the patron of liturgical and sacred music, and is also known as the Pope of the Eucharist.

St. Pius X felt great compassion for all people. On the eleventh anniversary of his election as pope the First World War was

declared.  In Rome he said goodbye to a large group of students called back to their homes all over Europe because of the war.  They were from England, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, and other countries.  Soon they would be fighting each other.  He asked them to be merciful, even as soldiers.  He knew this huge war would bring great suffering.  It is said that the knowledge and burden of war broke his heart. Three weeks later, on August 20, 1914, he died.

On May 29, 1954, amid the traditional pealing of the bells in the great churches of Rome, and by decree of Pope Pius XII, Giuseppe Sarto, the humble parish priest of the world, was canonized a Saint of God. Pope St. Pius X was the first pope to be canonized since the middle ages, and the first in the modern century. On September 17, 1956, under the patronage of St. Pius X, the Dominican Sisters of Houston opened the doors of the newly dedicated St. Pius X High School.  St. Pius X …pray for us.  Mater Mea…Mater Fiducia.