Pope St. Pius X was born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto on June 2, 1835 and died on August 20, 1914. Pius X is known for vigorously opposing modernist interpretations of Catholic doctrine, promoting traditional devotional practices and orthodox theology. He reformed the 1917 Code of Canon Law which was collected into one volume for the first time and strongly encouraged a pious lifestyle rooted in deep Catholic values.
Pius X was devoted to the Marian title of Our Lady of Confidence; while his papal encyclical Ad Diem Illum took on a sense of renewal that was reflected to his motto of his Pontificate. He was the first pope to favor the use of the vernacular language in teaching catechesis and encouraged frequent reception of holy communion which became a lasting innovation of his papacy. In addition, he strongly defended the Catholic religion against indifferentism and relativism. Like his predecessors, he promoted Thomism as the principal philosophical method to be taught in Catholic institutions.
Pius X was known for his overall rigid demeanor and sense of personal poverty. He frequently gave homily sermons in the pulpit every week, a rare practice at the time. After the 1908 Messina earthquake he filled the Apostolic Palace with refugees, long before the Italian government acted. He rejected any kind of favours for his family, to which his close relatives chose to remain in poverty living near Rome.
He was beatified in 1951 and was canonized on 29 May 1954. After his death, the town where he was born was renamed Riese Pio X.
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