Feast day: August 21
Prayer to St Pius X
Holy Father, Pius X,
saintly pastor, ascended to the glory of the blessed,
hear the prayer which we place at your feet.
Obtain for us the true love of Jesus,
so that we may live for him!
Obtain for us
your tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin!
Deliver us from every evil of soul and body,
and obtain that the Church and all Christianity may,
as you so greatly desired,
sing the hymn of victory and peace.
Blessed Pius X, meek and humble of heart,
like Jesus, who you so perfectly represented among us,
receive our prayers as when on earth
you compassionately listened to those of all
who had recourse to you.
You know how sad and disturbing our times are,
and how the enemies of God contend against him
and against his children.
Arise; in the indomitable courage of your spirit,
and protect the Church,
defend your successor,
save all who, united in one heart,
beseech you to present our prayers
before the throne of God
that we may never yield to the snares that beset us;
and so we may all reach the haven of salvation,
and, amid so many perils,
the Church and all Christianity
may once again sing the hymn
of victory, freedom and peace.
August 21 is the memorial of Pope St Pius X. Giuseppe (Joseph) Sarto was born in 1835 and was ordained priest in 1858. He was made Bishop of Mantua in 1884 and eight years later was created Cardinal Patriarch of Venice. In 1903 he was elected Pope.
During his pontificate he urged daily Communion and facilitated the Communion of children and the sick. One of those who influenced him in this was an Irish girl named Ellen Organ from Co Waterford, commonly known as Little Nellie of Holy God. Ellen died in the care of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Cork in 1908 at the age of four years and six months, but in those short years she was known to be spiritually very aware and longed to receive Holy Communion, which she did by special permission in 1907. The story of her life became known to the pope who took it as a sign that he should lower the age at which children could receive Holy Communion, and so he did. Pius X also encouraged Bible reading and tackled Modernism.
He died in 1914 and was canonized forty years later.