title : September 3th, 2017 Sun. Mass Sermon, by Fr Picot
name : silviadate : 2017-09-05 08:46:54hits : 455



What is the role of a Pope? The Pope, as Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth and defender of the Church, has the role of keeping the Catholic faith and doctrine intact. Here is a definition from which today’s popes should have drawn inspiration...

As soon as he ascended the pontifical throne, Pius X bravely set to work and began with resisting the oppression of the French Republic. A little more than a year after his election, Pius X had to face the unjust French law of separation of Church and State, voted by the French parliament in 1905. The effects of this law were felt immediately.

- Theft of the Church property: buildings, liturgical items, schools, hospitals etc...
- Dissolution of religious congregations and condemnation to exile in case of the monks or nuns refused to give up religious life.
- A merciless attack against the Sisters devoting themselves to hospitals, schools, orphanages, and insane asylums.

Yet, how many services had not returned to France, those Sisters who had left parents, friends, riches, honors and whatever the world could offer them to care for the handicapped, orphans, children or sick!

In 1906 the Pope solemnly condemned the law of separation. Then he firmly supported the French bishops in their resistance. Some of them hesitated to confront the state openly. But St. Pius X preferred to sacrifice the wealth of the Church to secure Her freedom from an apostate state. Rather be poor and faithful than possess churches, hospitals, magnificent schools by compromising with the Free-Masonic Republic.

The Church of Portugal was also persecuted, in a more violent and more barbarous manner than that of France. Again, Pius X behaved as he had done for France: In 1911 he condemned the laws of persecution and renewed the call for union and perseverance in the Catholic faith.

In 1910, he published an Encyclical {a public letter} in which he displayed great strength of soul in the struggle against the errors of time. He pointed out the characteristics which distinguish the true state reform from the false by unmasking the revolutionary reformers whose hidden aim was to destroy the faith in the souls of the Catholic population. That is why Pius X exhorted all the faithful to live as good Christians, to frequent the sacraments and to devout themselves for the salvation of souls and form political unions to conquer the nation back to Christ and to His Church.


Already at that time, new theories threatened the Church. Pius IX and Leo XIII had to fight a great deal against the Liberal-Catholics. They were not defeated and by the tie of his election, the holy pope saw such dark days ahead for the Church that he wrote: “We are terrified beyond all else by the disastrous state of human society today. For who can fail to see that society is at the present time, more than in any past age, suffering from a terrible and deep-rooted malady which developing every day and eating into its inmost being is dragging it to destruction? You understand Venerable Brethren, what this disease is apostasy from God.

When all this is considered, there is good reason to fear lest this great perversity, may be as it were a foretaste, and perhaps the beginning of those evils that are reserved for the last days; and that may already be in the world, the “son of perdition” of whom the Apostle speaks.

Such, in truth, is the audacity and the wrath employed everywhere in persecuting religion, in combating the dogmas of the faith, in brazen effort to uproot and destroy all relations between man and the Divinity!

While, on the other hand, this according to the same Apostle, is the distinguishing mark of Antichrist, man has with infinite temerity put himself in the place of God, raising himself above all that is called God; in such a way that although he cannot utterly extinguish in himself all knowledge of God, he has utter contempt for God’s majesty and made of the universe a temple where he himself is to be adored.

Some others experience the itch of reforming Catholic doctrines by replacing them with new teachings better suited to the conditions of modern times. As if the Catholic dogmas had to change with the ideas of men and as if religion had to adapt to men, and not the contrary. Should God be in the service of man? To think this would be to make man a god and God would be his slave! Heresy today is widely spread by the modernist doctrine...”

The modernists, being infiltrated from everywhere within the Church, St. Pius X set at once to fight them out, not considering whether he would be successful or defeated. His unique concern was about the salvation of as many souls as possible by keeping the doctrine of the Church unadulterated. Aiming at keeping the faith pure he published on September 8, 1907, the Encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis against modernism. Thus he denounced the lies of modernists and exposed how opposed and dangerous these lies are to the salvation. He did not just speak. He took action. Bishops contaminated by the heresy were removed from positions. The same fate befell many hypocrite rectors of seminary. The faithful bishops who were negligent were severely told off... And modernism abated...for a time only, as it is so painfully clear with Pope Francis.


Reform in the clergy: Seeing that the Catholic populations were taken away from the faith through ignorance he urged the priests to take at heart their duty of preaching and teaching the catechism. He ordered that every Sunday of the year they should explain the text of the catechism of the Council of Trent. He also checked the work of the bishops whose duty is to form holy priests having the knowledge and the courage necessary to fight the good fight of leading the faithful to a truly Catholic lifestyle.

Reform in Liturgy: The solicitude of St. Pius X to recall all the faithful to Frequent and Daily Communion produced a good impression everywhere. The priests rivaled each other in zeal to spread this holy practice, and the faithful responded eagerly. It was a true universal awakening of devotion to the Eucharist. Noting that the First Communion was abusively delayed, he commanded to go back to the antique practice of the Church: communion as soon as the child reaches the age of reason, at around seven years. This reform brought many saint children to the Church: a French boy called Guy who died at the age of 12; a French girl called Ann who died at 12 too, an Irish girl called Nelly who died at 9. These three have canonized.

Also the mass was disrespected by musical and liturgical abuses. The secular theatrical operas took precedence over Gregorian chant, which was in very poor state even in many monasteries. In 1903, Pope Pius X rose strongly against this profanation. He created a commission specially charged with restoring the liturgical chant in its primitive beauty, and founded the Superior School of Sacred Music in Rome.

He, then, added to this reformation that of the Breviary and the Missal. A new Breviary and a new Missal were published. Attention, please: this newness was simply an organic purification of the liturgy from strange elements damaging it. It was not an invention of a new missal...

Reform and defense of matrimony: In France, the family was beginning to be attacked by Freemasonry: divorce, first talks in defense of fornication etc... In order to protect the integrity of the family, Pius X modified the rules relating to the celebration of the marriage.

Reform in the Church laws: In 1904 Pius X decided that it was necessary to codify Canon Law. To this end, he established a commission of Cardinals to draw up bills. The new code was published under Benedict XV, his successor. It is this code that John Paul II destroyed with the New code of Canon Law in 1983.


1914: the First World War break out! We cannot say the suffering of Pius X at the thought of the frightful slaughter on the battlefield. But Pius X was devastated above all because he knew this war was to be the death of all Catholic culture, structures, organization in through Europe once so Catholic.

A bronchitis had weakened its robust constitution, but above all the vision of this horrible war, which had been more bloody day by day, had depressed it. The holy patient spent his days and nights in prayer for the return of peace. However, his state of health was getting worse from day to day.

On August 20, 1914, he received the last sacraments, with great piety. He had already lost the use of speech, but he kept his lucidity and understood everything. At quarter past one in the morning the Holy Pope returned his soul to God.

+ Fr. Picot

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