Monday, August 21, 2017

Saint Pius X

Saint Pius X  (1835-1914)

Feast: August 21

Patron of first communicants, immigrants

Though he rose to become a bishop, cardinal, and  pope, Giuseppe Sarto always remained at heart a simple parish priest. Born into a poor family near Venice, he wrote in his last will and testament, “I was born poor, I lived poor, I die poor." As a priest his extensive pastoral work made him aware of the acute need for religious instruction. After becoming Pope in 1903,  he still taught a weekly catechism class to children. He wrote the Catechism of Saint Pius X and  worked to establish the CCD in every parish.
His motto  “To restore all things in Christ” guided his papacy. He encouraged liturgical reforms, lowered the age for First Communion, and encouraged frequent Communion. Under his leadership the Code of Canon Law was codified in one volume for the first time (it was promulgated by his successor, Benedict XV). Pius reacted strongly to the rise of Modernism, which he saw as a synthesis of all heresies, and condemned its theological errors. Though he is sometimes remembered mainly for his strong anti-Modernism, his legacy includes his emphasis on pastoral work, concern for the poor, and formation of the clergy. He died on the eve of World War I, grieving over the conflict about to explode in Europe.


The great goal of St. Pius X was to restore all things in Christ. That is why the pope put such an emphasis on Holy Communion. Personal union with Jesus through this sacrament can light a fire in our hearts, leading us to give of ourselves to others. Ultimately, love builds up the Church. And as Pius liked to say, “Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to heaven.”

St. Pius X, intercede for us that the love of Christ may always inflame our hearts and spur us to share that love with others.

© 2017, Daughters of Saint Paul

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Assumption of Mary into Heaven

Because she is the mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is both God and man, we honor Mary as the Mother of God. In the Old Testament, the Ark of the Covenant represented God’s presence among his people. Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant, because she carried the Lord in her womb. The first reading of today’s feast speaks of the woman clothed with the sun. She is the “great sign” in the heavens, a sign of hope for the pilgrim people of God.
As Mother of God, it was fitting that Mary’s body be preserved from decay. At the end of her earthly life, God brought her to heaven, body and soul. On Calvary, Mary had stood by the cross of Jesus and shared in his sufferings. She shared in his resurrection also, anticipating the resurrection of the body that will occur at the end of the world. As Mary says in today’s gospel, “From now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me” (Lk 1:48-49).

As Christians, we need not fear death. Jesus has forged the way for us by his resurrection from the dead, leading us to eternal life. Our bodies too will rise again to happiness forever. When  the sorrows of earthly life overwhelm us, it helps to remind ourselves that after a few short years, which pass quickly, we will enjoy the happiness of heaven forever.


Our Lady of the Assumption, Mary our mother, pray for us who are still on our pilgrimage through this earthly life. Remind us of our goal, that we are called to happiness in eternal life. May that hope sustain us in difficult moments, so that we will never abandon the path to God. Amen.

© 2017 Daughters of Saint Paul