St. Pius X: Glory
Sanctity which was the inspiration and directing force of the undertakings of Pius X, is still more clearly discernible in his personal life. Before applying it to others, he put into practice in his own life his program of unifying all things in Christ.
First as a humble parish priest then as a Bishop, and finally as Supreme Pontiff he was intimately convinced that the sanctity to which God called him was priestly sanctity. For what sanctity is more pleasing to God in a priest of the New Law than that which belongs to him as representative of Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest, Who left to His Church in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass a memorial for all time and a perpetual renovation of His Sacrifice on the Cross, until He shall come for the Last Judgment; and Who in the Sacrament of the Blessed Eucharist has given Himself as the food of the soul: "He who eats this bread shall live forever"?
A priest above all in the Eucharistic ministry, this is the most faithful portrayal of St. Pius X. To serve the mystery of the Blessed Eucharist as a priest, and to fulfill the command of Our Savior, "Do this in remembrance of Me", was his goal. From the day of his sacred Ordination until his death as Pope, he knew no other faith than this in order to arrive at heroism in his love for God and to make a wholehearted return to that Redeemer of the world, Who by means of the Blessed Eucharist "poured out the wealth of His Divine Love on men." [Council of Trent, Sess. 13, Ch. 2]
One of the most expressive proofs of his consciousness of his priesthood was the extreme care he took to renew the dignity of Divine worship. Overcoming the prejudices springing from an erroneous practice, he resolutely promoted frequent and even daily Communion of the faithful, and unhesitatingly led the children to the Banquet of the Lord, and offered them to the embrace of the God hidden on the altars. Then the spouse of Christ experienced a new springtime of the Eucharistic life. In the profound vision which he had of the Church as a Society, Pius X recognized that it was the Blessed Eucharist which had the power to nourish its intimate life substantially, and to raise it high above all other human societies. Only the Eucharist, in which God gives Himself to man, is capable of laying the foundations of a social life worthy of those who live it, cemented more by love than by authority, rich in activity and aimed at the perfection of the individual, a life that is hidden with Christ in God. What a providential example for the world of today, where earthly society is becoming more and more a mystery to itself, and is feverishly trying to rediscover its soul! Let it look, then, for its model at the Church, gathered around its altars. There in the Sacrament of the Eucharist mankind really discovers and recognizes that his past, present and future are a unity in Christ. Conscious of and strong in his solidarity with Christ and his fellowmen, each member of either society, the earthly and the supernatural one, will be enabled to draw from the altar an interior life of personal dignity and personal worth, such as today is almost lost through insistence on technology and by the excessive organization of existence, of work and even of play.
Only in the Church, the Holy Pontiff seems to repeat, the Universal Church, which is "life hidden with Christ in God", is to be found the secret and source of renewed social life. Hence follows the grave responsibility of Ministers of the altar, whose duty it is to disclose to souls the saving treasure of the Eucharist. Many indeed are the activities which a priest can exercise for the salvation of the modern world. One of them, and undoubtedly one of the most efficacious and the most lasting in its effects, is to act as dispenser of the Holy Eucharist, after first nourishing himself abundantly with It. His work would cease to be sacerdotal if, even through zeal for souls, he were to put his Eucharistic vocation in a secondary place. Let priests conform their outlook to the inspired wisdom of Pius X, and let them confidently exercise their whole apostolate under the sign of the Blessed Eucharist. Similarly, let religious men and women, those who live under the same roof as Jesus Christ and are daily nourished with His Body, take as a safe norm in the pursuit of the sanctity proper to their state what the Holy Pontiff once declared on an important occasion, namely, that the bonds which through their vows and community life link them with God are not to be subordinated to any other activity, however legitimate for the good of their neigh bor.
In the Blessed Eucharist the soul should strike the roots for nourishing the interior life, which is not only a fundamental treasure of all souls consecrated to the Lord, but also a necessity for every Christian whom God calls to be saved. Without interior life, any activity, however praiseworthy, is debased and becomes purely mechanical in action, without any vitalizing effect. The Holy Eucharist and the interior life: this is the supreme and universal lesson which Pius X, from the height of glory, teaches in this hour to all souls. As apostle of the interior life, he becomes, in the age of the machine, of technology and of organization, the Saint and guide of men of our time.
St. Pius X, glory of the priesthood;
light and honor of the Christian people-----you in
whom lowliness seemed blended with greatness, severity with mildness;
piety with profound learning, you, Pope of the Holy Eucharist and of
Catechism, of unsullied faith and fearless strength, turn your gaze on
Holy Church, which you so loved and to which you consecrated the
of those treasures with which the lavish hand of the bounty had
your soul. Obtain for her safety and steadfastness amid the
and persecutions of our times; sustain this poor human race, whose
you shared in so largely-----those sufferings which
at the end stilled the beating of your great heart; bring it about that
this troubled world may witness the triumph of that peace which should
mean harmony among nations, brotherly accord and sincere collaboration
among individual men, so that thus those ardent desires which consumed
your apostolic life may become by your intercession a blessed reality,
to the glory of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who with the Father and the Holy
Spirit lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
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