Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The cowardice and weakness of good men

St. Pope Pius X, whose feast day it is today, has been a hero of mine since my childhood, when I read his inspiring biography by Wilhelm Hünermann. He grew up in a poor family and was given an education only thanks to his parish priest's charity. As he then rose through the ranks of the Church, he maintained his focus on the essential and lived in Evangelical poverty until his death. Upon being elected pope he decided to only use a small room in the Vatican and proceeded to sell off many of the papacy’s insignia (including the papal tiara - the headpiece adorned with three crowns), with the takings going to the poor. He also suffered greatly from the upheaval that culminated in WWI, saying that “[i]n our time more than ever before, the chief strength of the wicked, lies in the cowardice and weakness of good men.”

Given this great saint’s and pope’s holiness, I am just dismayed at the break-away ‘traditionalist’ group - the Society of St. Pius X - using his name in vain. I am sure it wouldn't be to his liking ...

A post about St. Pius X can’t go out without mention of a prank he pulled as a kid. When asked to look after an old lady’s house in her absence, he went on to teach her cats to fear the rosary by chasing them with a stick while rattling it. When the old lady returned and got to praying the rosary, her cats went nuts :)