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He was born into a very poor family, one of ten children.  After Ordination, and serving as a priest and bishop, he was elected Pope against his wishes in 1903.

He wanted to restore all things in Christ. He insisted on the separation of Church and State.

Pius lived a very simple life, even as Pope.  He was a good and simple man.  It is claimed that he even performed miracles in his lifetime.  He invited people to receive Holy Communion more often, and lowered the age when children could go to Communion, about seven years of age.

The outbreak of World War One broke his heart.

He was very strong on the formation of young people in the faith.

When he promoted daily Communion for all Catholics, he was criticised for introducing irreverence.  He was not deterred.  He said “Holy communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven”.

He also encouraged the frequent celebration of the Sacrament of Confession.

He simplified Papal ceremonies.

He lived in a different world than we do.  He wrote a catechism for his day.  The intention was faith formation.

When asked about its current role, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict the XVI, said:

“The faith as such is always the same.  Hence the catechism of St. Pius X always preserves its value.  Whereas ways of transmitting the faith can change instead.”  And hence, one may wonder whether the catechism of St. Pius X can in that sense still be considered valid today!

Pius was a man of his time.

We can certainly learn from his motto of restoring all things in Christ.

We can also learn from his personal holiness.

We can learn from his love of the Sacraments.

We also have Vatican II to help us live our Christian lives today, just as fully as he did in his time.

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