Character of Pope St. Pius X

Source: District of Asia

Msgr. Baudrillart, of the French Academy and Rector of the Catholic Institute in Paris, writes as follows in an article in the Revue pratique d' Apologétique, (15 Aout-1 Septembre, 1914) which is well worth reading. The following is extracted from the Memories of Pope Pius X by Cardinal Merry del Val

His look, his word, his whole being express three things: goodness, firmness, faith. Goodness was the man himself; firmness was the leader; faith was the Christian, the priest, the pontiff, the man of God. “Tu autem, O homo Dei.” This exclamation of the apostle rushed to one's lips from the heart, when one was admitted to this Pope's presence. How far away one was from human manoeuvres and political devices! How sure one was that one would hear nothing but the word of God from his mouth! How impossible one knew it would be to resort to the slightest equivocation or diplomatic ingenuity in his presence! One told him things just as they were, quite simply, and waited for his reply, with the firm resolve to do whatever he should say, to the best of one's power.

There were times when that answer seemed somewhat hard! With what energy would the Pope order us to root out the weeds from that part of the Church which he had entrusted to our care! We looked at him; we read in his sad gentle eyes, light in their depths but veiled with a shadow, words such as these: “I, too, suffer, I suffer more than you do, for I have to act in every direction to repress and to strike, I the father, the father of all; but that is the duty of my office, the duty I cannot escape; the Church's peril urges me on, peril from without, and yet worse peril from within; have I any right to consider whether I suffer ?” ... Pius X was the most supernatural of men; that Deus providebit (God will provide) which was for ever on his lips is the very expression of his whole religious and moral being. And that is why, once he was certain that his duty was to act in this or that way, he paid no further heed to the consequences, confident that God would draw a greater and lasting good from a lesser and passing evil.

He had the clear vision of the upright; and a clear vision that no falsehood or sophistry or hypocrisy could manage to deceive. . . . Quietly with unshaken calm he denounced and condemned evil wherever he saw it; no consideration could make him bend... . Pius X showed himself a ruler. His name will remain for ever linked with the reorganizing of the Roman Courts and Congregations, and the codifying of Canon Law, a colossal work soon completed, which will bring simplicity, light, strength, and unity into the government of the Church.

No Pope was ever more a reformer, no more modern, than this fearless adversary of Modernist errors. Faithful to his watchword, he undertook to restore and renew everything in Jesus Christ.

Governments may have feared or set themselves against him. He was loved, tenderly loved by the people, by all the good and simple faithful, because he was a saint, because he was a father.