Giuseppe Melchore Sarto was born of humble parents on June 2, 1835, in the small village of Riese near Venice. His father, a village official, and his mother raised Giuseppe in a loving Christian home. It was this home situation which prompted Giuseppe, after his college days in Castelfranco,to enter the seminary in Padua. Giuseppe Sarto was ordained at the age of 23 on September 18, 1858. His first assignment was as curate in the city of Trombolo. After nine years he was transferred to Salzano as pastor, a position he held for eight years. Due to his pastoral and administrative abilities, his bishop named him spiritual director of the diocesan major seminary and chancellor of the archdiocese, a position he held from November, 1875, until his elevation to the episcopacy of Mantua in 1884.

After nine years as bishop he was transferred to Venice as the city's patriarch and cardinal. Giuseppe Cardinal Sarto won the hearts of the Venetians through his humble spirit of poverty and his love for the Church, especially in the areas of education, Catholic action and liturgy. After the death of Leo XIII the conclave of 1903 elected Cardinal Sarto pope despite his own hesitancy to accept the office of Vicar of Christ. The new pope assumed the name Pius X. As Supreme Pontiff, Pius took as his motto the passage from Paul, "To restore all things in Christ, that Christ might be all and in all" (I Cor. 15:28), a goal which was particularly important during that period of the Church's emergence into the modern world. He died on August 20, 1914, at the age of 79. He was canonized St. Pius X on May 29, 1954. The universal Church celebrates his holy life and example on August 21. He was the first pope in modern times to be canonized.

See Prayer to St Pius X


Wooden Sculpture above was made by Sculpture Artist Schmalzl Harald (Bolzano Italy)

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