Saint Pius X
Feast Day: 21 August
Patron Saint of First Communicants

Born Joseph Sarto (1835-1914), and from a very poor family, St Pius X was pope from 4 August 1903 to 20 August 1914. He is best remembered for his encouragement of the frequent reception of Holy Communion, especially by children.

Interested in politics, Pope Pius encouraged Italian Catholics to become more politically involved, denounced the ill treatment of indigenous peoples, and sheltered refugees from the Messina earthquake at his own expense. His decision to adapt and systematise the law of the Church, Canon Law, led to the publication of a new code in 1917. His reorganisation of the Papal Curia modernised the Catholic Church’s central administration.

Pope Pius died a few weeks after World War I began. He was beatified in 1951 and canonized on 29 May 1954. He is the patron saint of first communicants—those receiving the Catholic sacrament of first Holy Communion—and his feast is 21 August.

Relics from the Cathedral Collection...