Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Pope Pius X, aka Saint Pope Pius X and Pope of the Eucharist, born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto NULL

Austrian-Italian Canonized Pope, Published first Code of Canon Law, rejected modernist interpretations of Catholic doctrine, promoting traditional devotional practices and orthodox theology

"Sacred music, being a complementary part of the solemn liturgy, participates in the general scope of liturgy, which is the glory of God and the sanctification and edification of the faithful."

"It is absurd to seek peace while rejecting God. For where God is left out, justice is left out, and where justice is lacking there can be no hope of peace."

"It is of primary importance that a certain space of time be allotted daily to meditation on eternal things. No priest can omit this without serious manifestation of negligence and without a grave loss to his soul."

"A great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, nor discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions, and which, under the pretext of freedom and human dignity, would bring back to the world the reign of legalized cunning and force, the oppression of the weak, and of those who toil and suffer."

"Babies dead without baptism go to Limbo, where they do not enjoy God, but neither do they suffer, because, having original sin alone, they do not deserve paradise, but neither do they merit hell or purgatory."

"But stranger still, alarming and saddening at the same time, are the audacity and frivolity of men who call themselves Catholics and dream of re-shaping society under such conditions, and of establishing on earth, over and beyond the pale of the Catholic Church, ‘the reign of love and justice’ ... What are they going to produce? ... A mere verbal and chimerical construction in which we shall see, glowing in a jumble, and in seductive confusion, the words Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, Love, Equality, and human exultation, all resting upon an ill-understood human dignity. It will be a tumultuous agitation, sterile for the end proposed, but which will benefit the less Utopian exploiters of the people. Yes, we can truly say that the Sillon, its eyes fixed on a chimera, brings Socialism in its train."

"Catholic doctrine tells us that the primary duty of charity does not lie in the toleration of false ideas, however sincere they may be, nor in the theoretical or practical indifference towards the errors and vices in which we see our brethren plunged but in the zeal for their intellectual and moral improvement as well as for their material well-being. . . True, Jesus has loved us with an immense, infinite love, and He came on earth to suffer and die so that, gathered around Him in justice and love, motivated by the same sentiments of mutual charity, all men might live in peace and happiness. But for the realization of this temporal and eternal happiness, He has laid down with supreme authority the condition that we must belong to His Flock, that we must accept His doctrine, that we must practice virtue, and that we must accept the teaching and guidance of Peter and his successors… He was as strong as he was gentle. He reproved, threatened, chastised, knowing, and teaching us that fear is the beginning of wisdom, and that it is sometimes proper for a man to cut off an offending limb to save his body. Finally, He did not announce for future society the reign of an ideal happiness from which suffering would be banished; but, by His lessons and by His example, He traced the path of the happiness which is possible on earth and of the perfect happiness in heaven… something quite different from an inconsistent and impotent humanitarianism."

"Equal diligence and severity are to be used in examining and selecting candidates for Holy Orders. For, far from the clergy be the love of novelty! God hateth the proud and obstinate mind."

"Henceforth it will be the task of this Sacred Congregation not only to examine carefully the books denounced to it, to prohibit them if necessary, and to grant permission for reading forbidden books, but also to supervise, ex officio, books that are being published, and to pass sentence on such as deserve to be prohibited."

"Hope has been the sole companion of my life, the greatest aid in doubts, the strongest assistance in my weakness; hope, but not the hope in men, such as is thought to bring greater happiness and instead brings greater disaster, but hope in Christ, supported by the celestial promise that He will strengthen the weakest of men with a greatness of soul and divine help."

"In recommending St. Thomas to Our subjects as supreme guide in the Scholastic philosophy, it goes without saying that Our intention was to be understood as referring above all to those principles upon which that philosophy is based as its foundation… St. Thomas perfected and augmented still further by the almost angelic quality of his intellect all this superb patrimony of wisdom which he inherited from his predecessors and applied it to prepare, illustrate and protect sacred doctrine in the minds of men… He (Thomas Aquinas) enlightened the Church more than all the other Doctors together; a man can derive more profit from his books in one year than from a lifetime spent in pondering the philosophy of others."

"I can do all in Him who strengthens me. His Power is infinite, and if I lean on him, it will be mine. His Wisdom is infinite, and if I look to Him counsel, I shall not be deceived. His Goodness is infinite, and if my trust is stayed in Him, I shall not be abandoned."

"I was born poor, I have lived poor, I wish to die poor."

"I shall spare myself neither care nor labor nor vigils for the salvation of souls. My hope is in Christ, who strengthens the weakest by His divine help; I can do all in Him who strengthened me! His power is infinite, and if I lean on Him it will be mine; His wisdom is infinite, and if I look to Him for counsel I shall not be deceived; His goodness is infinite, and if my trust is stayed on Him I shall not be abandoned. Hope unites me to my God and Him to me. Although I know I am not sufficient for the burden, my strength is in Him. For the salvation of others I must bear weariness, face dangers, suffer offences, confront storms, fight against evil. He is my Hope"

"His Holiness is pleased at being called upon, as head of the Church, for his support in so noble an undertaking, which has the lofty object of caring for the lives and treatment of animals and which at the same time endeavours to eradicate from the hearts of men barbarous and cruel tendencies."

"Indeed the true friends of the people are neither the revolutionaries nor innovators, they are the traditionalist."

"In our time more than ever before, the chief strength of the wicked, lies in the cowardice and weakness of good men... All the strength of Satan’s reign is due to the easy-going weakness of Catholics. Oh! If I might ask the Divine Redeemer, as the prophet Zachary did in spirit: What are those wounds in the midst of Thy hands? The answer would not be doubtful: With these was I wounded in the house of them that loved Me. I was wounded by My friends, who did nothing to defend Me, and who, on every occasion, made themselves the accomplices of My adversaries. And this reproach can be leveled at the weak and timid Catholics of all countries."

"Obviously the need of this Christian instruction is accentuated by the decline of our times and morals. It is even more demanded by the existence of those public schools, lacking all religion, where everything holy is ridiculed and scorned. There both teachers' lips and students' ears are inclined to godlessness. We are referring to those schools which are unjustly called neutral or lay. In reality, they are nothing more than the stronghold of the powers of darkness."

"Ours will be the task of defining and explaining the notions of the most important truths… as well as that of leading back to the rule and straight path of honesty both in public and in private life, in the social and political spheres, all men and, indeed, each and every one of them, those who must obey as well as those whose duty is to command, for they are all sons of the same Father Who is in Heaven. We are also quite conscious of the fact that some will be shocked in hearing Us mention that We will, through necessity, concern Ourselves with politics. But anyone seeking to judge fairly will be quick to understand that the Sovereign Pontiff, who has been invested with the Supreme Magisterium, has no right whatsoever of divorcing questions relating to politics from the field of Faith and Morals. Moreover, in his capacity as chief and sovereign guide of that perfect society which is the Catholic Church, a society made up of men and also set up amongst men, he can only wish to foster and entertain close relationships with [all] heads of countries and members of governments if he wishes to see all the countries of the world protect their Catholic citizens' liberty and security."

"So far as studies are concerned, it is Our will and We hereby explicitly ordain that the Scholastic philosophy be considered as the basis of sacred studies. . . . And what is of capital importance in prescribing that Scholastic philosophy is to be followed, We have in mind particularly the philosophy which has been transmitted to us by St. Thomas Aquinas."

"That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him. Besides, this thesis is an obvious negation of the supernatural order. It limits the action of the State to the pursuit of public prosperity during this life only, which is but the proximate object of political societies; and it occupies itself in no fashion (on the plea that this is foreign to it) with their ultimate object which is man's eternal happiness after this short life shall have run its course. But as the present order of things is temporary and subordinated to the conquest of man's supreme and absolute welfare, it follows that the civil power must not only place no obstacle in the way of this conquest, but must aid us in effecting it."

"Private property is a natural fruit of labor, a product of intense activity of man, acquired through his energetic determination to ensure and develop with his own strength his own existence and that of his family, and to create for himself and his own an existence of just freedom, not only economic, but also political, cultural and religious."

"The domineering overbearance of those who teach the errors, and the thoughtless compliance of the more shallow minds who assent to them, create a corrupted atmosphere which penetrates everywhere, and carries its infection with it… Pride! Pride sits in Modernism as in its own house, finding sustenance everywhere in its doctrines and lurking in its every aspect."

"Thus is it to be seen that anyone revolting against the Church's authority under the unjust pretext that it is encroaching on the State's domain, is indeed thereby imposing limits to the Truth. He who holds it [i.e., the Church's authority] to be a stranger in a nation is also declaring that Truth must also be held to be something foreign in that nation. Those who fear that it will weaken the freedom and greatness of a people, are also obliged to admit that a people can be great and free without Truth. No, such a State, such a government or whatever other name may be given to it, cannot lay claim to its citizens' affection, because in waging war against Truth, it gravely strikes at that which is found to be most sacred in man. Such a government will be able to sustain itself through material and brute force; it will make itself feared through the sword; people will, through hypocrisy, self-interest or sheer slavishness: the people will obey because religion preaches and ennobles submission to the human powers that be, as long as they do not require that which is contrary to the holy laws of God. But if the fulfillment of these duties towards human authorities, in that which is compatible with the people's duty to God, renders their obedience more meritorious, it will not, for all that, become more tender, nor more joyful nor more spontaneous: never will it even deserve to be considered as venerable nor affectionate."

"The very idea of some danger, the very thought that the moral corruption so prevalent and pervading in the Roman world threatened to creep into the morals and customs of the clergy caused him no end of trembling and fear....He could be seen warning, correcting and suspending from their functions those unworthy members of the clergy....Thus do we see, Venerable Brethren, how important it is for a bishop, before laying hands on new candidates for ordination, to apply himself, in God's presence, to a deep and thorough self-examination."

"The great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions, and which, under the pretext of freedom and human dignity, would bring back to the world (if such a Church could overcome) the reign of legalized cunning and force, and the oppression of the weak, and of all those who toil and suffer… Indeed, the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are traditionalists."

"We take courage in Him Who strengthens Us; and setting Ourselves to work, relying on the power of God, We proclaim that we have no other program in the Supreme Pontificate… The desire for peace is harbored in every breast, and there is no one who does not ardently invoke it. But to want peace without God is an absurdity, seeing that where God is absent thence too justice flies, and when justice is taken away, it is vain to cherish the hope of peace. "Peace is the work of justice" (Is. 22:17). There are many, We are well aware, who, in their yearning for peace, that is, for the tranquility of order, band themselves into societies and parties, which they style parties of order. Hope and labor lost. For there is but one party of order capable of restoring peace in the midst of all this turmoil, and that is the party of God. It is this party, therefore, that We must advance."

"Whenever they [the bishops] do permit them, it shall only be on condition that matters appertaining to the Bishops or the Apostolic See be not treated in them, and that no resolutions or petitions be allowed that would imply an usurpation of sacred authority, and that absolutely nothing be said in them which savors of Modernism, Presbyterianism, or laicism."

"?Progress? of dogmas is, in reality, nothing but corruption of dogmas ? I absolutely reject the heretical doctrine of the evolution of dogma, as passing from one meaning to another, and different from the sense in which the Church originally held it. And likewise, I condemn every error by which philosophical inventions, or creations of the human mind, or products elaborated by human effort and destined to indefinite progress in the future?"

"Absolute truth must be unchangeable!"

"But since the Modernists (as they are commonly and rightly called) employ a very clever artifice, namely, to present their doctrines without order and systematic arrangement into one whole, scattered and disjointed one from another, so as to appear to be in doubt and uncertainty, while they are in reality firm and steadfast, it will be of advantage, Venerable Brethren, to bring their teachings together here into one group, and to point out the connection between them, and thus to pass to an examination of the sources of the errors, and to prescribe remedies for averting the evil."

"But for the more profound study of this science, as it ought to be studied in Universities and Colleges and in all Seminaries and institutions which are empowered to grant academic degrees, it is of the first importance that the old system of lecturing on the actual text of the Summa Theologica- which should never have been allowed to fall into disuse? be revived."

"But it is, nevertheless, true that he never put himself forward as one invested with the might and power of the great ones of the earth, for instead of using the exalted prestige of the Pontifical dignity, he preferred to call himself the Servant of the Servants of God; a title which he was the first to adopt. It was not merely by profane science or the "persuasive words of human wisdom" (1 Cor. 2:4) that he traced out his career, or by the devices of civil politics, or by systems of social renovation, skillfully studied, prepared and put in execution; nor yet, and this is very striking, by setting before himself a vast program of apostolic action to be gradually realized... The constant aim of his life, as shown in all his words and works, was, therefore, this: to preserve in himself, and to stimulate in others this same lively faith and confidence, doing all the good possible at the moment in expectation of the Divine judgment.... It is still more necessary to inculcate properly in the minds of all the moral maxims? so that everybody may learn to conquer himself, to curb the passions of the mind, to stifle pride, to live in obedience to authority, to love justice, to show charity towards all, to temper with love the bitterness of social inequalities, to detach the heart from the goods of the world, to live contented with the state in which Providence has placed us, while striving to better it by the fulfillment of our duties, to thirst after the future life in the hope of eternal reward. But, above all, is it necessary that these principles be instilled and made to penetrate into the heart, so that true and solid piety may strike root there, and all, but as men."

"He (Thomas Aquinas) enlightened the Church more than all the other Doctors together; a man can derive more profit from his books in one year than from a lifetime spent in pondering the philosophy of others."

"How they have realized this danger is easily to be seen in the anxieties, trepidations, and tears of most holy men who have had borne in upon them the terrible responsibility of the government of souls and the greatness of the danger to which they are exposed, but it is to be seen most strikingly in the life of Anselm. When he was torn from the solitude of the studious life of the cloister, to be raised to a lofty dignity in most difficult times, he found himself a prey to the most tormenting solicitude and anxiety, and chief of all the fear that he might not do enough for the salvation of his own soul and the souls of his people, for the honor of God and of His Church... his one great comfort was his trust in God and in the Apostolic."

"God could have given us the Redeemer of the human race, and the Founder of the Faiths in another way than through the Virgin, but since Divine Providence has been pleased that we should have the Man-God through Mary, who conceived Him by the Holy Spirit and bore Him in her womb, it only remains for us to receive Christ from the hands of Mary. ?"

"I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way."

"Let the storm rage and the sky darken ? not for that shall we be dismayed. If we trust as we should in Mary, we shall recognize in her, the Virgin Most Powerful "who with virginal foot did crush the head of the serpent."

"It is in the democratic customs as well as in theories of the ideal city which inspires them, that you will perceive, Venerable Brethren, those underlying causes of those disciplinary lapses for which you have so often reproached the Sillon."

"Let us go back (in mind) to the times of Anselm, so fraught with misfortunes and difficulties according to historical accounts. People then were indeed obliged to give battle for the altar and the fatherland, that is to say, in favor of the inviolability of public rights and laws, for liberty, civilization and doctrine: all things over which the Church alone stood guard. It was necessary to repress the tyranny of those princes accustomed as they are in disregarding the people's most sacred rights: Vices had to be eradicated, intellects cultivated and barbarians civilized. Much work had to be done in reforming part of the clergy, guilty of cowardice or misconduct: numerous were they in its ranks who, owing their appointment to the base intrigues and whims of those princes, have shown themselves to be their time-serving subordinates. Such was the situation, particularly in those regions which especially and more immediately benefited from Anselm's solicitude, works, doctrinal teachings, as well as his sterling example of monastic life. The souls entrusted to his care greatly benefited by his heedful vigilance as well as the industrious zeal he showed in faithfully fulfilling his functions of archbishop and primate. On all sides, interior revolutions together with foreign wars were inevitably followed by a loosening of discipline: princes and subjects, clergy and laity; all were affected, none escaping."

"Pride! Pride sits in Modernism as in its own house, finding sustenance everywhere in its doctrines and lurking in its every aspect."

"Ours will be the task of defining and explaining the notions of the most important truths....as well as that of leading back to the rule and straight path of honesty both in public and in private life, in the social and political spheres, all men and, indeed, each and every one of them, those who must obey as well as those whose duty is to command, for they are all sons of the same Father Who is in Heaven. We are also quite conscious of the fact that some will be shocked in hearing Us mention that We will, through necessity, concern Ourselves with politics."

"The soul of youth is ? a most holy sanctuary."

"We therefore desired that all teachers of philosophy and sacred theology should be warned that if they deviated so much as a step, in metaphysics especially, from Aquinas, they exposed themselves to grave risk."

"Truly we are passing through disastrous times, when we may well make our own the lamentation of the Prophet: There is no truth, and there is no mercy, and there is no knowledge of God in the land."