Pope Pius X died on Aug. 20, 1914, just as the First World War was breaking out across Europe. Born in a small Italian village in 1835, Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto rose through the Church ranks and was elected pope in 1903. During his 11-year reign, he was conservative when it came to Church doctrine, but was also known for reforming Church hierarchy and for his devotion to the Eucharist. He was canonized in 1954. Upon his death, Register editor Fr. A. E. Burke (right) penned the obituary in the newspaper, then known as The Catholic Register and Canadian Extension. In an excerpt from that story appearing Aug. 27, 1914, Burke reported on the Pope’s final moments and recounts a meeting he once had with him:


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VATICAN CITY – Jesus is the risen shepherd who takes upon his shoulders "our brothers and sisters crushed by evil in all its varied forms," Pope Francis said before giving his solemn Easter blessing.

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VATICAN CITY – Christ's call for his disciples to be one requires that even as they try to resolve their differences on doctrinal and moral questions, they must get used to working and praying together, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis appealed for the release of all people being held captive in the world's battle zones, including Salesian Father Thomas Uzhunnalil, who was abducted in Yemen.

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OTTAWA - While many within the Catholic Church and other denominations have apologized for their role in Indian residential schools, many are still awaiting the one voice that would speak loudest — Pope Francis.

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VATICAN CITY - Financial wrongdoing at the Vatican, leaked documents and arrests by the Vatican police may make it seem like 2012 all over again, but the situation -- while serious -- is not the breach of papal privacy that the earlier "VatiLeaks" scandal was.

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VATICAN CITY - Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Pope Francis on June 10, with pressure on the pontiff to speak up about the Kremlin’s role in the Ukraine conflict.

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VATICAN CITY - People seem to enjoy finding the shortcomings of candidates for sainthood like Blessed Junipero Serra, but they should ask themselves if they would have his generosity and courage to leave everything behind to care for the poor and bring them the Gospel, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY - The question of accountability for bishops and religious superiors who fail to follow through on protecting minors from abuse was "put on the table" during the latest meeting between Pope Francis and his international Council of Cardinals, said the Vatican spokesman.

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I once found myself in a room full of photographers forced to make a passionate defence of the Pope. It was an odd sort of defence. I was defending the Pope’s right to look frail, weak, lost and vulnerable in public.

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VATICAN CITY - From the moment Pope Francis said, "We declare and define Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II be saints" and "they are to be venerated as such by the whole church," their October feast days automatically could be celebrated at Masses around the world.

Published in Papal Canonizations

VATICAN CITY - With the canonizations of John XXIII and John Paul II, 80 former popes have been declared saints. The vast majority came from the early days of the Church, when many popes were martyred. Here are 10 of the more interesting sainted popes:

Published in Papal Canonizations

VATICAN CITY - "They call me Holy Father and that is what I must be," the future St. John XXIII wrote in his diary.

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Cardinal Collins notes decision will be made for the good of the Church

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VATICAN CITY - Wherever journalists and bookmakers may be getting the names on their lists of top candidates for the next pope, it’s not from the cardinals who will actually vote in the election. Both custom and canon law forbid the cardinals to discuss the matter in such detail with outsiders.

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