St Pius X
Pope from 1903. From the beginning it was clear that he wished to be a religious rather than a political Pope. When the French government effected the separation of Church and State in 1905, Pius secured the independence of the Church in France from State interference at the price of material ruin (1906). In 1907 he condemned Modernism and three years later introduced the anti-modernist oath. He undertook a series of difficult reforms, including the codification of canon law (promulgated by Benedict XV in 1917), Breviary revision, and the restoration of plainsong to its traditional place in the liturgy. His recommendation of daily Communion in 1905 laid the foundations of the modern Liturgical Movement. Feast day, 21 Aug.