Monday 31 January 2022

Saint Pius X - Father Walter Diethelm O.S.B. - The Farm Boy Who Became Pope

Saint Pius X: 
The Farm Boy Who Became Pope
Fr. Walter Diethelm O.S.B.
G.W. Thompson (Illustrator)
Vision Books
ISBN 9780898704693

This book is part of the Vision Books Biographies now published by Ignatius Press. It is the second in the series that I have read, the first was Saint Jose, Boy Cristero Martyr. I did pick up a couple of others, Father Damien and St. Katharine Drexel few years back but have not get around to reading them because I really prefer eBooks to physical because of my dyslexia. The Ignatius site lists 33 books in the series currently, but I have found at least 1 missing from that list. Which was listed in the back of the very old edition of this book that I read. I read this because I had finished the 38 books in the Encounter the Saints Series from Pauline Books and Media. Those books are geared for a younger audience, and these are written for older readers and go deeper into the subject matters of each volume. The second was because Deacon Nick Donnelly mentioned having read and loved this volume. I am thankful I headed his recommendation and read this book. The description of this volume is:

“Another stirring tale from the Vision Books series for youth 9-15 years, this book tells the charming story of Giuseppe Sarto, "the farm boy who became Pope". Young readers will be inspired by the life of this holy man--from his youthful days of hard work and prayer to receive the education he needed; to his years as a country priest, encouraging his people to holiness; through the steady promotions to pastor, monsignor, bishop, cardinal, and archbishop, which he reluctantly accepted but in which he always became the beloved of those he served; to his days as the Holy Pontiff, Pope Pius X, the only canonized Pope of this century. This simple man who never forgot the poor will always be a timely example of holiness.   Born of very humble circumstances, young Giuseppe Sarto had one burning desire while growing up on a farm--to become a priest. But never did he or his generous parents ever dream that he would one day sit in the Chair of St. Peter. This is the inspiring story of the humble "Pope of little children," whose love for Christ and children moved him to change the requirements for First Communion so that young children as early as 7 years old could receive the Holy Eucharist. Illustrated.”

The chapters in the book are:
The Young Student
The Seminarian
Assistant at Tombolo
A Favor for Salzano
The Perpetuum Mobile
The Canon at Treviso
Best Bishop in Lombardy
The Red Hat
A Pope is Chosen
The Coronation
A Black Cassock Becomes White
Father to All the World
An Ardent Fire
The Children’s Pope
A Living Saint
The Servant’s Rest
Pius X, Saint of Our Times

This book is an incredible read. I was enthralled from beginning to end. So many moving moments in this read. From the story of his walking to school in a different town barefoot to save the wear on his shoes to the changes he made as Pope including:

Lowering the age for first communion
Having someone join his for meals
Not giving honors and titles to his sisters
Starting the code of canon law 

The list goes on and on. But what is most inspiring is his deep faith, his personal piety. His trust that God could work it all out. The miracles wrought during his lifetime, to the many after his death. I could hardly put this book down. 

This is an excellent book in what looks like an awesome series. Only 4 of the 33 volumes currently listed in the series have eBooks available. I have dyslexia and my son has eye tracking issues; I wish this whole series was available electronically. Also, as I mentioned I found reference to Fighting Father Duffy and also John Carroll Bishop and Patriot, in the back of the edition of this book I read and wonder if there are others that are no longer in print. I would love to track down a complete list of the book in the series. I would also love for Ignatius to release eBook editions for the whole series. That being said I was very blessed to have read this book and look forward to tracking down others in the series. This book was so inspiring that I challenge you to give it a read, I am certain you will be blessed. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan

Books in the Vision Books Saints Biographies:
Bernadette, Our Lady's Little Servant 
The Cure of Ars 
Edmund Campion 
Florence Nightingale's Nuns 
Fr. Marquette and the Great Rivers 
Francis and Clare, Saints of Assisi 
Kateri Tekakwitha 
Mother Cabrini, Missionary to the World 
Mother Seton and the Sisters of Charity 
Saint Anthony and the Christ Child 
Saint Benedict 
Saint Catherine Laboure and the Miraculous Medal 
Saint Dominic and the Rosary 
Saint Elizabeth's Three Crowns 
Saint Francis of the Seven Seas 
Saint Helena and the True Cross 
Saint Ignatius and the Company of Jesus 
Saint Isaac and the Indians 
Saint John Bosco 
Saint Katherine Drexel 
Saint Louis and the Last Crusade 
Saint Philip of the Joyous Heart 
Saint Therese and the Roses 
Saint Thomas Aquinas and the Preaching Beggars 
Saint Thomas More of London 
Vincent De Paul: Saint of Charity 

Out of Print books in the Series:
Brother Andre of Montreal 
Catholic Campuses, Stories of American Catholic Colleges 
Champions in Sports and Spirit 
Children Welcome: Villages for Boys and Girls 
Christmas and the Saints 
Columbus and the New World 
Dear Philippine: Mission of Mother Duchesne 
Edel Quinn: Beneath the Southern Cross 
Father Kino, Priest to the Pimas 
Frances Warde and the First Sisters of Mercy 
Good Pope John b
Governor Al Smith 
In American Vineyards, Religious Orders in the United States 
Irish Saints 
John Carroll Bishop and Patriot
John Neumann, The Children's Bishop 
Kit Carson of the Old West 
Lydia Longley, the First American Nun 
Marguerite Bourgeoys, Pioneer Teacher 
Martin de Porres, Saint of the New World 
Modern Crusaders 
More Champions in Sports and Spirit 
Mother Barat's Vineyard 
My Eskimos: A Priest in the Artic 
Peter and Paul: The Rock and the Sword 
Peter Claver, Saint Among Slaves
Pope Pius XII, the World's Shepherd 
Rose Hawthorne: The Pilgramage of Nathaniel's Daughter 
Saints of the Byzantine World 
Sarah Peter: The Dream and the Harvest 
St. Augustine and His Search for Faith 
St. Francis de Sales 
St. Gregory the Great, Consul of God 
St. Jerome and the Bible 
St. Margaret Mary, Apostle of the Sacred Heart 
The Bible Story, The Promised Lord and His Coming 
The Cross in the West 
The Ursulines, Nuns of Adventure 
When Saints Were Young 

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