With his deep understanding of the needs of the Church, Saint Pius X often saw things
with remarkable clarity. The Holy Pontiff had an interesting conversation with a group of cardinals, which was reported in the French clerical publication, L’Ami du Clergé.
Saint Pius X asked them, “What is the thing we most need today to save society?”
“Build Catholic schools,” said one.
“More churches,” said another.
“Speed up the recruiting of priests,” said a third.
“No, no,” replied Saint Pius X. “The most necessary thing of all, at this time, is for every parish to possess a group of laymen who will be at the same time virtuous, enlightened, resolute and truly apostolic.”
Further details allow us to assert that Saint Pius X at the end of his life saw no hope for the salvation of the world unless the clergy could use their zeal to form faithful Christians full of apostolic ardor, preaching by word and especially by
example. In the dioceses where he served before being elevated to the papacy, Saint Pius X attached less importance to the census of parishioners than to the list of Catholics capable of radiating an apostolate.
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