Summer Saints – Pius X

In 1835, a baby named Giuseppe Sarto was born in Venice, Italy.  He was ordained a priest when he was 23, and eventually became a bishop.  He taught at the seminary, where he gave away books to the poor students so that they would be able to study.  He also taught the seminarians to sing Gregorian chant, which is a traditional way of singing prayers during the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours.

In 1893, Pope Leo XIII made Giuseppe a cardinal, and Giuseppe’s proud mother was there to see it!  Giuseppe continued to work with seminarians, and did many other works.  In 1903, Pope Leo died, and Giuseppe was elected to take his place.  He took the name Pius X.

As pope, he wrote many letters (called encyclicals), in which he gave advice and guidance on different matters.  He advised that people receive Communion often, that children should make their first Communion when they are young (it used to happen much later than it does today), and he gave directions for how children and adults should learn the Faith.  Pius X also wrote a letter about the kinds of music that should be used during Mass.  He was very concerned that churches were singing music from operas or parties, instead of music that is appropriate for an event as solemn as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  He instructed that churches should sing more traditional music, with words and melodies that make us think of holy things.

He also worked to update the Church’s law (called Canon Law), and to reorganize the Vatican offices so that the Church could better serve people throughout the world.  All of his teachings and work helped get the Church ready for the difficult times that the world would go through in the 20th century.  He died in 1914 and was canonized by one of his successors, Pope Pius XII.

There are many beloved hymns that should be part of every Catholic’s repertoire and one of them is Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow.  It’s simple and easy to memorize and a great start to any prayer time (including your Family Formation lesson times next year).  This would be a good day for your family memorize this lovely hymn.

This beloved Catholic hymn is simple to learn and to play on whatever instrument your kids may be learning.  It goes by several names including Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow, The Doxology (“An expression of praise to God”), and The Old Hundredth (from it’s association with Psalm 100).

The most well-known lyrics are those above, but there are many alternates using the same melody, including:

 You faithful servants of the Lord, sing out His praise with one accord,

While serving him with all your might and keeping vigil through the night.

Unto His house lift up your hand, and to the Lord your praises send.

May God who made the earth and sky, bestow his blessings from on high.

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