By Christina Hermoso
The Roman Catholic Church honors Wednesday, August 21, the life and works of Saint Pius X, the Pope of the Holy Eucharist.
Feast masses and special prayer services will be offered at the Pope Pius Center in Paco Manila, in honor of the revered Italian saint. Commemorative rites will also be observed in Roxas City, Capiz; Sipocot, Camarines Sur; Lipa City, Batangas; and in Pototan, Iloilo.
Born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto in the year 1835 in Italy, St. Pius was greatly admired for his piety, charity, deep humility, pastoral zeal, and simplicity. Ordained priest in 1858, he was appointed bishop in 1884, cardinal in 1893, and was elected as the 259th head of the Roman Catholic Church in 1903.
He became known as the Pope of the Holy Eucharist after he allowed children to have their First Communion at the age of seven instead of the then customary age of 14. He also encouraged the faithful to receive Holy Communion often. St. Pius died in 1914 and was canonized on May 29, 1954.