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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Centenary of the Death of St Pope Pius X


Félix Sébastopol Rasumny 1869 - 1940
Medallion of Saint Pope Pius X
1904
Bronze sculpture
0.067 m x  0.05 m
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Rasumny was a Ukranian  engraver, born in Sebastopol, who emigrated to France. 

He regularly exhibited, including at the Salon 

He executed a number of religious commissions some of which are exhibited at the Musée d'Orsay

The portrait of Pius X was commissioned shortly after the Pope`s election in 1903. It is in the tradition of Art Nouveau ("New Art"), the metaphor for the freedom and release sought by its practitioners and admirers from the weight of artistic tradition and critical expectations.

In France it was also known as Style Jules Verne, Le Style Métro, Art belle époque, and Art fin de siècle

Art Nouveau was a short-lived movement whose brief incandescence was a precursor of Modernism, which emphasised amongst other things  function over form and the elimination of superfluous ornament.

The Pope was to die a mere 11 years after his election in 1914 and we commemorate the 100th anniversary of his death on 20 August 1914, the liturgical feast coming after

During his pontificate he railed against forces in Western Society which were too febrile and insubstantial to withstand those other forces which hurled Europe into two lengthy and savage holocausts in the bloodiest century in the history of Western Europe

It was an era which hailed Francesca da Rimini and her lover, Paolo, as heroes and it reaped the whirlwind

Perhaps it is not insignificant that the Pope`s star rose again in the 1950s when he was canonised and that in the 1960s and 1970s  his reputation and influence declined to nothing

The D`Alessandri photograph of the same year shows perhaps a less youthful figure than the flattering hand of Rasumny. See below



Fratelli D'Alessandri
Pope Pius X (Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto: 1835-1914)
1904
Bromide print
150 mm x 103 mm
The National Portrait Gallery, London

His election was quite extraordinary and out of place. He had literally came from nowhere and nothing.

When a deputation of nobles came from Palermo to Rome to beg the Pope to preserve their tradition of having as Archbishop an aristocrat and a Doctor of Theology, Pius replied:
"I know a curate who was neither a noble nor a Doctor of Theology who was appointed parish priest; that parish priest was made a Canon and then a Bishop; that Bishop who was neither a Doctor of Theology nor an aristocrat was created Cardinal and then elected Pope, and it is the Pope who is now speaking with you."
The web site of the birthplace and the Museum of St. Pius X (The Pius X Foundation) has done itself proud for the centenary

Pictures and photographs abound about the town`s favourite son

Some are below

There is an updated biography of the saint in three parts: Pio X , Un Papa Veneto

There is also a detailed schedule of the ceremonies to mark the centenary

See also:

On Saturday, August 23, His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, will celebrate Mass at the Shrine of Cendrole near the parish Church of Riese. It was this shrine which was founded by the saint

The Pope`s sister married a "Parolin" and a number of her ibecame members of the clergy. One wonders if Cardinal Parolin is a distant relative of the Saint ?

There will be a diocesan pilgrimage to Rome on 8th - 10th September where there will be an audience with Pope Francis to mark the centenary (Wednesday 10th  September)

Here are the pictures:



Entry in the Baptismal Register of the Parish of the Baptism of Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto (3rd June 1835)



Chaplain at Tombolo



Parish priest at Salzano



Handwritten page of the Catechism used by Don Sarto at Salzano



The three sisters of the Pope who came to Rome to keep house for him as well as when he was a parish priest and bishop: Anna, Maria and Rosa. Without them he would not have achieved what he did



Patriarch of Venice



Patriarch of Venice in the Corpus Domini procession



Cardinal Sarto in a gondola



Pope in audience with Greek clergy



The Pope and members of his private office



Papal catafalque in the Sistine Chapel