Pius-X-Wallpaper
Pope St. Pius X wallpaper from Sub Tuum Praesidium, creator KnightofChrist.

Listers, Pope St. Pius X was a tireless defender of the Catholic faith who retained - despite his many battles - a very Eucharistic and pastoral heart. “Perhaps nowhere in the history of the Church is there a better example of a man possessed of so many of the saintly virtues—piety, charity, deep humility, pastoral zeal, and simplicity—than in… St. Pius X. Yet the parish priest of Tombolo, who remained a country priest at heart throughout his life, faced the problems and evils of a strife-torn world with the spiritual fervor of a crusader. The inscription on his tomb in the crypt of the basilica of St. Peter’s gives the most eloquent testimony to a life spent in the service of God.”1 It reads:

Born poor and humble of heart, Undaunted champion of the Catholic faith, Zealous to restore all things in Christ, Crowned a holy life with a holy death.

Pope St. Pius X led the Church in an incredible spiritual crusade against modernism. He also brought about great fruits in the Church by promoting Marian devotions, daily reception of the Holy Eucharist, and faithful parish-based catechesis. The following memes give a glimpse into the teachings of this great saint. In order to better understand the memes, we’ve provided the context and sources (or lack thereof) for each meme, so that those interested in moving from the milk to the meat of his teachings may easily do so. May all Catholics work to restore all things to Christ, the motto of Pope St. Pius X.

 

1. The Shortest Way to Heaven

The full quote reads as follows, “Holy communion is the shortest and surest way to Heaven. There are others, innocence, for instance, but that is for little children; penance, but we are afraid of it; generous endurance of the trials of life, but when they come we weep and ask to be spared. Once for all, beloved children, the surest, easiest, shortest way is by the Eucharist. It is so easy to approach the holy table, and there we taste the joys of Paradise.”2

 

Pius X Meme Shortest

 

2. Kindness is for Fools

It is widely reported that Pope St. Pius said the following in response to those who asked him to “go soft” on the Modernists: “Kindness is for fools! They want them to be treated with oil, soap, and caresses but they ought to be beaten with fists! In a duel you don’t count or measure the blows, you strike as you can! War is not made with charity, it is a struggle a duel. If Our Lord were not terrible he would not have given an example in this too. See how he treated the Philistines, the sowers of error, the wolves in sheep’s clothing, the traitors in the temple. He scourged them with whips!”

 

Pius X Meme Punch

 

3. The Unchangeable

The quote “Absolute truth is unchangeable!” in widely attributed to Pope St. Pius X. Something close to this statement is found in the Oath Against Modernism. The text reads, “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.”3

 

Pius X Meme Absolute Truth

 

4. Progress of Dogma is Corruption

The meme quote is actually two separate quotes. First, the “progress” quote comes from Lamentabili Sane, and reads it context: “With truly lamentable results, our age, casting aside all restraint in its search for the ultimate causes of things, frequently pursues novelties so ardently that it rejects the legacy of the human race. Thus it falls into very serious errors, which are even more serious when they concern sacred authority, the interpretation of Sacred Scripture, and the principal mysteries of Faith. The fact that many Catholic writers also go beyond the limits determined by the Fathers and the Church herself is extremely regrettable. In the name of higher knowledge and historical research (they say), they are looking for that progress of dogmas which is, in reality, nothing but the corruption of dogmas.” The second part of the meme is drawn from the Oath Against Modernism (1910), which reads, “Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical’ misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously.” The English translation differs slightly from the one in the meme, but remains faithful to the Latin underneath.4

 

Pius X Meme Doctrine

 

5. The So-Called “Spirit of Vatican II”

Setting aside all of the problems with the Second Vatican Council itself, many of the so-called “reforms” of the modernists are championed under the banner of the “Spirit of Vatican II.” The reason the modernists must appeal to the “spirit” is because their agendas cannot be found in the actual text of Vatican II. Many things the Church has suffered in the name of Vatican II are nowhere in the texts of Vatican II. The so-called “Spirit” of Vatican II has become a rallying cry for those submitting the post-conciliar Church constitutes a “New Catholicism.”

 

Pius X Meme Vatican II

 

6. The Road that Leads to Jesus Christ

In the first year of his pontificate, 1903, His Holiness Pope Pius wrote, “Now the way to reach Christ is not hard to find: it is the Church. Rightly does Chrysostom inculcate: “The Church is thy hope, the Church is thy salvation, the Church is thy refuge.” (Hom. de capto Euthropio, n. 6.) It was for this that Christ founded it, gaining it at the price of His blood, and made it the depositary of His doctrine and His laws, bestowing upon it at the same time an inexhaustible treasury of graces for the sanctification and salvation of men. You see, then, Venerable Brethren, the duty that has been imposed alike upon Us and upon you of bringing back to the discipline of the Church human society, now estranged from the wisdom of Christ; the Church will then subject it to Christ, and Christ to God.” In 1954, at the canonization of Pope St. Pius X, his succesor Pope Pius XII wrote, “He solemnly announced the programme of his pontificate in his very first Encyclical (E supremi of Oct. 4, 1903) in which he declared that his only aim was “to re-establish all things in Christ” (Eph. 1:10), that is, to sum up, to restore all things to unity in Christ. But where is the road that leads to Christ, he asked himself, looking in compassion at the hesitating, wandering souls of his time. The answer, valid yesterday as well as today and always, is: the Church! His primary aim then, unceasingly pursued till death, was to make the Church ever more effectually suitable and ready to receive the movement of souls toward Jesus Christ.”5

Pius X Meme Church

 

7. The Apostolic Faith

The meme quote is taken from the Oath Against Modernism. Another translation from the Latin into English reads, “Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport.”6

 

Pius X Meme Apostles

 

8. Opposed Relativism

Known as “Hipster Pope St. Pius X,” the meme combines the hipster notion of being the first to do something before it becomes mainstream with Pope St. Pius X’s ever-vigilant battle against modernism in the early 1900’s. In his famous encyclical Pa__scendi Dominici Gregis, the good Pontiff fought against relativism in the popular modernist philosophies of his day. Whether speaking of modernity or modernism, one of the undeniable effects has been modern man’s lack of faith in reason’s ability to know.7

 

Pius X Meme Hipster

 

9. Jesus did not Respect False ideas

Writing to the French bishops in the autumn of 1910, His Holiness St. Pope Pius X wrote, “Further, whilst Jesus was kind to sinners and to those who went astray, He did not respect their false ideas, however sincere they might have appeared. He loved them all, but He instructed them in order to convert them and save them.” On a similar note, he also stated, “But 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.”8

 

Pius X Meme Boss

 

10. Traditionalists are the True Friends

In Notre Charge Apostolique, Pope St. Pius X wrote to the French bishops, saying, “Let them be convinced that the social question and social science did not arise only yesterday; that the Church and the State, at all times and in happy concert, have raised up fruitful organizations to this end; that the Church, which has never betrayed the happiness of the people by consenting to dubious alliances, does not have to free herself from the past; that all that is needed is to take up again, with the help of the true workers for a social restoration, the organisms which the Revolution shattered, and to adapt them, in the same Christian spirit that inspired them, to the new environment arising from the material development of today’s society. Indeed, the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are traditionalists.”9

 

Pius X Meme Friends

 

11. Fight the Modernists

Like the above quote on fighting the modernists, it is widely reported that Pope St. Pius said the following in response to those who asked him to “go soft” on the Modernists: “Kindness is for fools! They want them to be treated with oil, soap, and caresses but they ought to be beaten with fists! In a duel you don’t count or measure the blows, you strike as you can! War is not made with charity, it is a struggle a duel. If Our Lord were not terrible he would not have given an example in this too. See how he treated the Philistines, the sowers of error, the wolves in sheep’s clothing, the traitors in the temple. He scourged them with whips!”

 

Pius X Meme Fists

 

12. Modernism is the Fruit of Pride

In his encyclical “Against the Modernists,” St. Pope Pius X makes several comments about modernism and pride. He comments on the modernists - many of whom are inside the Church - saying, “Finally, and this almost destroys all hope of cure, their very doctrines have given such a bent to their minds, that they disdain all authority and brook no restraint; and relying upon a false conscience, they attempt to ascribe to a love of truth that which is in reality the result of pride and obstinacy.” The good Pontiff speaks of pride the most, however, under the subsection “The Cause of Modernism.” The quote at hand is taken from this section, “No, truly, there is no road which leads so directly and so quickly to Modernism as pride.”10

 

Pius X Meme Modernism Pride

 

Listers, if you have a source for some of the attributed quotes above or want to add another source for clarity, please comment below with the citation. Thank you. 


  1. Pope Pius X biography is made available by the generosity of EWTN - St. Pius X. On a different note, this listed was published the day Pope Paul VI was raised to Blessed Paul VI. ↩︎

  2. Pius X to the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, A SHORT BIOGRAPHY OF POPE ST. PIUS X by F.A. FORBES, NEW AND REVISED EDITION, 1954, Originally Published 1918, with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur. Source↩︎

  3. The Oath Against Modernism - English↩︎

  4. Lamentabili Sane is available online at Papal Encyclicals Online, and the Oath of Modernism is available in both English and Latin. Thank you to two listers who helped track down this piecemeal quote, Paul A. Copenhagen and Alejandro Usma Díaz. Both posted helpful links and explanations on our Facebook page. Thank you. ↩︎

  5. Pope Pius X’s quote comes from his encyclical E Supremi, while Pope Pius XII’s quote is taken from his homily at the canonization of Pope St. Pius X. The entire homily is available online curtesy of Rorate Caeli. ↩︎

  6. The Oath Against Modernism in English↩︎

  7. In Pope St. John Paul II’s famous encyclical Fides et Ratio, he states, “Here the pronouncements of Pope Saint Pius X are pertinent, stressing as they did that at the basis of Modernism were philosophical claims which were phenomenist, agnostic and immanentist.” The project of modernity has been and will continue to be the emancipation of the human will from God, nature, history, and reason. Though modernity fancies itself the age of reason, it has actually reduced the radius of reason and has in many ways abandoned reason all together. For more on the development of modernity (and its difference from modernism) see The Four Steps to Understand the Crisis of Modernity↩︎

  8. Notre Charge Apostolique, “Our Apostolic Mandate,” given by Pope Pius X to the French Bishops, August 15, 1910. ↩︎

  9. Notre Charge Apostolique, “Our Apostolic Mandate,” given by Pope Pius X to the French Bishops, August 15, 1910. ↩︎

  10. The entirety of his comments on modernism are found in paragraph 40 of Pa__scendi Dominici Gregis, his primary encyclical against the modernists given in 1907. ↩︎