Saint Pius X (pope from 1903-1914, canonized on May 29, 1954) wrote 16 encyclicals. One of them, entitled Ad Diem Illum (1904), is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and was written to commemorate the 50th anniversary (jubilee) of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, proclaimed by Pope Pius IX. Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto was born on June 2, 1835, and in 1903 became the 257th Roman Catholic Pope serving as Pius X until his death on August 20th, 1914. He rejected modernist interpretations of Catholic doctrine, was devoted to Mary, and adopted the first Code of Canon Law, which collected and published, for the first time, all the laws of the Church. Academically, he was a traditionalist, often undoing what his predecessor engendered. On July 20th, 1903, Pope Leo XIII, died. The Cardinals met in conclave on Friday, July 31st, and remained in session four days balloting seven times. The final count showed that Sarto was elected by a vote of 55 out of a possible 60 votes. Cardinal Sarto was asked: "Do you accept the election?" He gave a reply in the affirmative. When asked what name he chose he replied: "Pius." All the throne canopies were then lowered, except for that of the successful candidate. Then Prince Chigi, the master of the conclave, drew up the official act of the election and acceptance of the newly elected Pope. Pius then retired into a small room near the altar, where he dressed into the white robes of his office.
Although during his reign as Pontiff, higher criticism of the Bible, which started under Leo XIII, languished in Catholic circles, Pope Pius X was a champion of Mary. In Ad Diem Illum, Pius X asserts the importance of entrusting oneself to the Virgin Mary in order to know Jesus better:
“Through the Virgin, and through her more than through any other means, we have been offered a way of reaching the knowledge of Jesus Christ (...) with her alone Jesus was for thirty years united, as a son is usually united with a mother, in the closest ties of intimacy and domestic life. Who could better than His Mother have an open knowledge of the admirable mysteries of the birth and childhood of Christ, and above all of the mystery of the Incarnation, which is the beginning and the foundation of faith?”
The encyclical maintained, that Christ was the Word made Flesh and the Savior of all mankind. Jesus had a physical body like any other man: but, as the Savior of the human family, Christ also had a spiritual and mystical body, which Pius X decreed as the Church. The Blessed Virgin did not conceive the eternal son of God merely in order that Christ might be made man, although Pius wrote that God did obtain his human nature from Mary.
"By means of the human nature Christ assumed from Mary, he became the Redeemer of men. Mary, carrying the Savior within her, also carried all those whose life was contained in the life of the Savior. Therefore, all the faithful united to Christ, are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones from the womb of Mary like a body united to its head."
The Marian encyclical pontifical motto, “Omnia restaurare in Christo” to restore everything in Christ, promoted the Ad diem illum devotions, “no honouring is more pleasing to Mary, none She likes better, than the one in which we truly recognize and love Jesus.”
This, according to Pius X, is the aim of the Marian encyclical. The pronouncement of the Immaculate Conception was also a part of the Marian encyclical "But let people believe and confess that the Virgin Mary has been from the first moment of her conception preserved from all stain; and it is straightway necessary that they should admit both original sin and the rehabilitation of the human race by Jesus Christ, the Gospel, and the Church and the law of suffering” This Immaculate Conception dogma, Pius X decreed is the answer, by its obligation; “of recognizing in the Church a power before which (mankind ) not only has the will to bow, but the intelligence to subject itself.” Mary, “a virgin, was kept free from all stain of original sin because she was to be the Mother of Christ; and She was the Mother of Christ, so that the hope of everlasting happiness might be born again in our souls.”
This devotion to Mary spanned his entire religious life. As a seminarian, we find him, on vacation, offering to Mary the daily homage of the recitation of her Little Office. As a priest, he preached Mary in his numerous sermons. He introduced and promoted the pious practice of the month of May. When his nomination to the episcopacy arrived, it was before the altar of the Blessed Mother that he received it. And one of the first things he did after his consecration was to make a pilgrimage. He went to the shrine of Our Lady of Loreto. Chief among the simple furnishings of his study, even as Supreme Pontiff, was always either a statue or a picture of Our Lady.
Just before leaving for the conclave that was to elect him to the See of Peter, he asked that special prayers be offered at this altar of Our Lady of Grace so she might protect him on his journey. During the conclave, when he realized that the wishes of the assembled cardinals were inevitably converging on him, he protested his un-worthiness and, after he had spoken, he withdrew to the Pauline Chapel and fell upon his knees before the picture of Our Lady of Good Counsel.
In his first encyclical, “E Supremi Apostolatus Cathedra,” issued August 4, 1903, he set forth the whole program of his pontificate. In this program he epitomized in this motto, “Restore all things in Christ.” The means he proposed to use to accomplish this was the Blessed Virgin Mary. He returned to this theme more at length in 1904 in his immortal encyclical, “Ad diem illum laetissimum.”
“The chief reason,” he wrote,” why (this) anniversary should arouse a singular fervor in the Christian people is to restore all things in Christ. . ..
For who does not know that there is no surer or easier way than Mary for uniting all persons with Christ and obtaining through Him the perfect adoption of sons that we may be holy and immaculate in the sight of God?”
He passed on August 21. St. Pope Pius X was canonized in the Marian Year 1954. Pius X is also a member of the Queen of All Hearts.