What is an Apostolic Exhortation?
An apostolic exhortation is a magisterial document written by the pope. It is considered third in importance, after apostolic constitutions and encyclicals.
Exhortations generally encourage a particular virtue or activity. Apostolic exhortations are frequently issued following a Synod of Bishops, in which case they are known as post-synodal apostolic exhortations. They do not define Church doctrine and are not considered legislative.
Pope Pius X
August 4, 1908
Sanctity alone makes us what our divine vocation demands, men crucified to the world and to whom the world has been crucified, men walking in the newness of life–who seek only heavenly things and strive by every means to lead others to them.
Apostolic Exhortation given by Pope St. Pius X on August 4, 1908.
This Exhortation, which the Holy Father addressed to the Catholic clergy on the occasion of the Golden jubilee of his priesthood, was written entirety in his own hand in the space of some weeks. It is a document which truly comes from the heart of the Pontiff. In it he presents his ideal of the priesthood, and reveals the serious anxieties which he experienced at a time when the modernist crisis was still a source of perturbation to the clergy; the Exhortation rounds off the numerous earlier instructions of the Holy Father. Saint Pius X was fond of recommending this Exhortation to the members of the episcopate: “This document, in which we opened our heart to all sacred ministers, make it your business to recall it and explain it for the benefit of the clerics for whom you are responsible. Besides, realize thoroughly and hold fast to this truth: when you have a body of clergy who conform to the ideal outlined in that Exhortation, you will certainly find your pastoral care greatly lightened, and the fruits of your apostolate will be much more abundant.”
Here is a link to the entire text of Haerent Animo
Father Richard Kunst: A Commentary on the Purificator
A Purificator is a white linen cloth which is used to wipe the chalice clean after the ablutions which follow Communion. This purificator was used by Pope St. Pius X in 1910.
On the document of authenticity, shown in the photo, the note reads that this purificator was used by Pope Pius X. The note is signed on May 3, 1910.
Pius X was obviously interested in the spiritual well-being of Catholics. Known as the Eucharistic Pope, he not only encouraged daily reception of the Eucharist, but also sought to allow children to receive it at the age of reason (seven years of age) rather than the customary twelve to fourteen years. In 1914, he also revised the missal. In total, his initiatives were so far-reaching he was hailed as a pioneer.
A deeply conservative man who was so transparently good and humble, he was highly regarded for his holiness during his own lifetime. Many miracles were credited to him even while still alive. He died at the beginning of World War I and was devastated at its outbreak. Rather than bless the Austrian troops who sought his blessing, he simply stated, I will bless peace. He was seventy-nine years of age and was buried initially in the Vatican grottoes. In the 1950’s his body was transferred, along with Blessed Innocent XI’s and (eventually) Blessed John XXIII’s to three altars in St. Peter’s Basilica where their relics are venerated in glass sarcophagi.
The Church celebrates his memorial feast day on August 21st.