Tenure: 1903-1914 This pontiff's death came as World War I was spreading across Europe, a fact the Tribune reported was a factor in his death: "The vitality with which he fought former (illnesses) had been absorbed in his prayers and meditations for peace." Pius X, who believed devoutly in the mystery of the Eucharist, urged Catholics to take the sacrament regularly and lowered the age of First Communion from 14 to 7 years. He was very popular in the United States because he was of lowly birth and raised the U.S. church from missionary status. Piux X was canonized in 1954.
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