Oath Against Modernism

With the decree Lamentabili (1907) and the encyclical Pascendi (1907), the dangers of the modernist interpretation of Catholic truth had been exposed and fully expounded. Nevertheless, efforts to promote the modernist cause were continued in various countries. To eliminate the possibility of modernist error spreading through the clergy, St. Pius X (1903-14) drew up and published on September 1, 1910, the following oath against modernism and imposed it on all clergy to be advanced to major orders, on pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and on professors in philosophical and theological seminaries.

The first part of the oath is a strong affirmation of the basic Catholic truths opposed to modernism: the demonstrability of God's existence by human reason; the value and suitability of miracles and prophecies as criteria of revelation; the historical institution of the Church by Christ; the invariable character of Catholic tradition; the reasonableness and supernaturalness of faith.

The second part of the oath is an expression of interior assent to the decree Lamentabili and the encyclical Pascendi with their contents. Particular modernist errors are singled out for censure and rejection.

I firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day.

And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:20), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated:

Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time.

Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time.

Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely.

Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our Creator and Lord.

Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas. I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion. I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality--that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful. Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm.

Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.

Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact--one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history--the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.

I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God.


Prayers and Devotions of St. Pius X.

Ejaculation at the Elevation of the Mass and
at the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament

Dominus meus, et Deus meus!          My Lord and my God!

(These words are to be said with faith, piety, and love, while looking upon the Blessed Sacrament, either during the Elevation in the Mass, or when exposed on the altar. Indulgence of 7 years. --Pius X, 1907.)

Come, O holy Ghost, fill the heart of thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of thy love.

(300 Days Indulgence. St. Pius X. 1907.)

O Lord, preserve to us the Faith
(100 Days Indulgence. St. Pius X, 1908.)

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.
(300 Days Indulgence. St. Pius X, 1905.)

Sacred Heart of Jesus I trust in Thee.
(300 Days Indulgence. St. Pius X, 1906.)

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come!
(300 Days Indulgence. St. Pius X, 1906.)

Divine Heart of Jesus, convert sinners, save the dying, set free the Holy Soul in Purgatory.

(300 Days Indulgence. St. Pius X)

Eternal Father, by the most Precious blood of Jesus Christ, glorify His most Holy Name, according to the intention and the desires of His Adorable Heart.

(300 Days. Indulgence. St. Pius X, 1908.)

Jesus and Mary, (invoked with the heart, if not with the lips).
(300 Days Indulgence. St. Pius X. 1904.)

Let us, with Mary Immaculate, adore, thank, pray to and console the most Sacred and well-beloved Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.

(200 Days Indulgence. St. Pius X, 1904.)

O Mary, bless this house, where thy name is ever held in benediction. All glory to Mary ever Immaculate, ever Virgin, blessed among women, the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, queen of Paradise.

(300 Days Indulgence. St. Pius X, 1905.)


Prayer to St. Joseph by Pope St. Pius X

O glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God, to work with order, peace, moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thine example, O Patriarch, St. Joseph. Such shall be my watchword in life and in death. Amen.

From the 1910 Roman Breviary

Prayer to be said at the Beginning of Mass

Eternal Father, I unite myself with the intentions and affections of our Lady of Sorrows on Calvary, and I offer Thee the sacrifice which thy beloved Son Jesus made of Himself on the Cross, and now renews on this holy altar: First. To adore Thee and give Thee the honour which is due to Thee, confessing Thy supreme dominion overall things, and the absolute dependence of everything upon Thee, Thou Who art our one and last end. Second. To thank Thee for innumerable benefits received. Third. To appease Thy justice, irritated against us by so many sins, and to make satisfaction for them. Fourth. To implore grace and mercy for myself, for...., for all afflicted and sorrowing, for poor sinners, for all the world, and for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

(300 Days Indulgence. St. Pius X, 1904.)

Prayer to Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament

O Virgin Mary, our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, glory of the Christian people, joy of the universal Church, salvation of the world; pray for us, and awaken in all the faithful devotion to the Holy Eucharist in order that they may render themselves worthy to receive It daily.

(300 Days Indulgence. Pius X, 1907. )


Prayer for the Conversion of Sinners

O Lord Jesus, mot merciful Savior of the world, we beg and beseech Thee, through Thy most Sacred Heart, that all all wandering sheep my now return to Thee, the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls. Who livest and reignest with Cod the Father and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.

(300 Days Pius X, 1905.)

"An obligation of charity," says Pius X, "rests on rich men and holders of property to help the poor and needy according to the Gospel precept; and so grave is this precept that on the day of Judgment, according to Christ Himself, a special reckoning will be made of its fulfillment."