Tuesday, September 03, 2019

The Canonization of Pope St Pius X

Pope St Pius X died on August 20th, 1914, and was canonized by Pope Pius XII just under 40 years later, on May 29, 1954; this was one of the most significant events of the first Marian Year, proclaimed by the Pope to commemorate the centenary of the definition of the Immaculate Conception. His feast day was originally assigned to September 3rd, the first free day on the calendar after that of his death, and is still kept there in the Extraordinary Form; in the Ordinary Form, he was removed to August 21st. Here is a beautiful video of the event from the archives of the Italian newsreel company Istituto Luce, with my translation of the narration. Below it, I have added a video of raw footage of the event (without soundtrack) from British Pathé.

He has become a Saint, a glorious citizen of heaven, this citizen to whom Riese raised this monument. Here was born nearly 120 years ago Giuseppe Sarto, from here he went out to go to school, 7 kilometers on foot. His room has remained that of a poor country curate; neither as cardinal nor as Pope did Giuseppe Sarto want to decorate it nicely. The kitchen is still that where his mother cooked polenta (a very typically northern Italian dish) for him, when there was any; here any visitor may enter, even the most humble, and sign the guestbook. ‘Xe un Cristian anca lu’, (Venetian dialect for ‘he’s also a Christian’) says the guard. From all over the world, the faithful have come for the canonization of Pius X. The Christian people were the first to want this; there followed the miracles. The process was conducted rapidly as few others have, and forty years after his death, Pius X is a Saint; Pius V waited 100 years longer. The flag has come from Riese, brought by the mayor and an official delegation; the nieces have also come, Maria De Bei and Giuseppina Parolin, and all the Bonin, names which speak Venetian, as the Saint liked. (Italian Prime Minister Mario) Scelba leads the special Italian delegation; there arrive also (President Luigi) Einaudi e Donna Ida (Pellegrini, his wife).

(1:20) It is 5:30 p.m., in the evening, the time at which the procession exits the bronze doors. In the line led by the Swiss Guards and the ‘sediari’ (the gentlemen who carried the sedes gestatoria), 460 bishops and archbishops, and 42 cardinals. On the sedia gestatoria, the Pope moves forward. He wears the falda, amice, alb, stole, the great cope embroidered with gold, (closed) with the morse, the triple tiara. On the platform in front of the basilica, he gets off the sedia gestatoria and ascends to the throne to sit, with Cardinals Canali and Bruno at his sides, and the prince-assistant at the throne, Don Giuseppe Aspreno-Colonna. As the Tu es Petrus is sung, the cardinals come up to the throne one by one to offer their obedience. The rite begins. In the name of the Cardinal Procurator, the Consistorial Advocate reads the “postulatio” (the formal request for the canonization), to which the Secretary for Briefs answers that the Pontifical crown which adorned the head of Pius X will from today shine with splendor of sanctity. A miracle of the Saint – the mirrors are transformed into instruments of devotion. The Pope decrees and defines as Saint and Confessor Blessed Pope Pius X, the Saint given by Providence to our times.

(2:36) In a crystal casket, the venerated body, accompanied by an immense line of ecclesiastics, makes its way through those streets of Rome where Pius X passed no longer after his assumption to the throne; around him, the youth whom he wished to be admitted at the age of seven to the table of the Lord. The casket passes through fervent emotion of the faithful, such as Pius X felt around himself, but perhaps never saw so numerous during his difficult Pontificate. His blue eyes shine in his intact body, as it was found when they exhumed him at the beginning of the canonization process. Yesterday, the Pope remembered the glorious milestones of the reign of Pius X, in every way leading back to unity in Christ: the renewal of ecclesiastical law, his combat against the modernist heresy, but these people remember above all the shepherd, who while he was alive showed in his sweet and charitable good-will the light of holiness. Santa Maria Maggiore shines with the lights of the Marian year, but from the mystical rose of the Saints, Pius X contemplates the glory of Mary.

From British Pathé:

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