I have enjoyed reading some stories about him, and wish to share just a few with you now.
- Those who don’t appreciate applause during Mass will like this. One day he entered the basilica at the Vatican and a great amount of clapping began. After everyone stopped, he sternly said: “We do not applaud the servant in the Master’s house.”
- Some popes criticized the use of tobacco, especially snuff. His physicians one day told him that he should really give it up and shared that the pope before him, Pope Leo XIII, had given it up later in his life. Pope Pius said to his doctor: “Come back and see me when I’m 93. Then I’ll give it up.”
- Pope Pius one night early in his pontificate sked one of his secretaries to dine with him. The secretary told him that it’s customary for the Pope to eat alone. “Who made that into a custom?”, Pius asked. “Urban VIII made the rule,” his secretary told him. He replied: “If Urban can make a rule that became a custom, certainly Pius can abolish it!”
- People liked to tell Pius X that he was a living saint. His reply: “Don’t I already have enough to do? Now they want miracles, too?”
Pius was a lighthearted man and we need to pay attention to that.
But he also put the emphasis on the right stuff. Pius fought movements in the Church that were modernizing in nature, and he was a huge proponent of Gregorian chant. He also can be credited with moving First Communion into a person’s early age, rather than his teenage years.
St. Pius X: Pray for