St. Pius X was a game changer for a church and for the papacy. Though he lived a while ago, he promised timeless practices to make us more . . . pious.
1. The name
First of all, the name Pius sounds and looks a lot like pious because pius is the Latin word for pious. Boom! You’re on your way to learning more Latin, which is the sacred, reverent, and holy language of our Catholic Church!
2. Holy Communion
St. Pius X said that Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to heaven. So, just do it! Fun fact: St. Pius X lowered the youngest age for First Communicants from age 14 to age 7—what many consider to be the age of reason, where kids can understand that it’s Jesus they’re receiving. Fun fact #2 people during his time only received Communion a few times a year, and thanks to St. Pius X, he worked to promote the pious practice of daily Communion!
3. Don’t be a snob
St. Pius X will help you to not be such a snob. He saw a rising in the Church of modernists. Quick definition of modernism for those who aren’t familiar: It essentially means that Things of the past are no longer relevant or meaningful, and only new or “modern” things matter. Pius X wrote the encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis or “On the Doctrines of the Modernists.” Modernists thinks they’re better. Ergo, they’re a bit snobby.
Fun Fact: C.S. Lewis had to overcome modernism in order for him to convert from agnosticism to Christianity. Fun Fact #2: C.S. Lewis is the man who called modernism a form of chronological snobbery.
4. Gregorian Chant
St. Pius X challenges us to use Gregorian Chant in Church! Although, he allowed modern music in church as long as they met certain criteria, Pius X was clear about his belief that Gregorian Chant was the ideal form of music to bring about sanctity, holiness, and piety! In fact, he called Gregorian chant, “the supreme model of all sacred music.” Fun Fact: St. Pius X established an institute of sacred music in Rome in order to train teachers in Gregorian Chant.
5. He encouraged poverty
St. Pius X invites us to live more simply and in the spirit of poverty! He was born poor and chose to live that way his whole life.
Fun Fact: Embarrassed with how he had to dress as pope, he said, “It is a penance to be forced to accept all these practices. They lead me around surrounded by soldiers like Jesus when he was seized in Gethsemane.”
6. He demanded humility
He did not think he was called to be a pope because he considered himself unworthy of the position. However, when he got the sufficient amount of votes he said, “Fiat Voluntas Tua“, which means “Thy will be done.” By the way, St. Pius X considered it a sign from God to accept the papacy as that day was also the feast day of St. Dominic. St. Pius X had a special heart for the Dominicans as he was close to joining them early in life but ultimately felt called not to join the order.
7. Pray the rosary
In promoting the rosary, St. Pius X granted an indulgence whenever a person said the following Marian prayer composed by Blessed Hyacinth Cormier, Master of the Dominican Order from 1904 to 1916:
“O Virgin Mary, grant that the recitation of thy rosary may be me each day, in the midst of my manifest duties, a bond of unity in my actions, a tribute of filial piety, a sweet refreshment, an encouragement to walk joyfully along the path of duty. Grant, above all, O Virgin Mary, that the study of thy fifteen mysteries may form in my soul, little by little, a luminous atmosphere, pure, strengthening my will, my heart, my memory, my imagination, my whole being. So shall I acquire the habit of praying while I work, without the aid of formal prayers, by interior acts of admiration and of supplication, or by aspirations of love. I ask this of thee, O Queen of the holy rosary, through Saint Dominic, thy son of predilection, the renowned preacher of thy mysteries, and the faithful imitator of thy virtues. Amen.”