Pope St. Pius X, the first pope since Pius V to be canonized into sainthood, was known as the pastoral pope. He took up the cause of the poor and promoted personal holiness and a lifestyle reflecting Christian values. St. Pius X was the only pope in the twentieth century with a long pastoral background at the parish level, and such were the concerns of the Catholic Church under his guidance. He reformed canon law and church administration, and adhered to traditional theology and doctrine.
These encyclicals bring a timeless pastoral message and warn of emergent philosophies that drive a wedge between philosophy and theology. Pascendi Dominici Gregis discusses and condemns modernist philosophy, which, in St. Pius X’s estimation, necessitates agnosticism and results in relativism. St. Pius X was also frequently concerned with Catholic education and doctrine, and thus, through the encyclical Acerbo Nimis, he mandated a sort of catechism class for every parish in the world. A few years later, the Catechism of Saint Pius X was issued (Catechismo della dottrina Cristiana) and was promoted as a method of teaching.
The Logos version of these encyclicals adds incredible value throughout your library. Modern documents that reference these classic teachings will have their references pop up on mouseover, allowing you to track the traditions of the Catholic Church back through the ages.
St. Pius X (Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto) (1835–1914) reigned as pope from 1903 to 1914.
Born in poverty in Riese in the then-Austrian Empire, Giuseppe Sarto starting learning Latin as a child from his village priest. He walked six kilometers to school and back each day to further his education. In 1850, he was awarded a scholarship from his diocese to attend the Seminary of Padua, where he finished his classical, philosophical, and theological lessons with distinction.
He was ordained a priest in 1858 and continued to study theology through Thomas Aquinas and canon law while performing the duties of parish priest. In 1867, he was named archpriest of Salzano, where he restored the church and expanded the hospital with funds from his own labor. Gradually, he rose in honor and distinction, attaining monsignor, bishop, professor (at the seminary in Treviso), and, in 1891, assistant to the pontifical throne. He was given papal dispensation from Pope Leo XIII for this honor, since he lacked a doctorate, which was usually required.
Pope Leo XIII made him a cardinal and Sarto was instantly named Patriarch of Venice. After just 10 years, Leo XIII passed away, and the conclave voted Sarto into the papacy. He took the name Pius X, after his recent predecessor Pius IX. Pius X’s pontificate is noted with conservative theological teaching, liturgical and legal reform, and encouraged daily communion—a practice that was extremely uncommon. After 10 years, he suffered a heart attack and died in August of 1914.
His canonization process began in 1951. In 1954, his sainthood was approved by Pope Pius XII. He is often called the “Pope of the Blessed Sacrament” for his then-radical perspective on communion, which is commonplace teaching today.