A brief word on the death of St. Pius X, his burial, exhumation and final resting place.
On this day of August 20th in 1914, Pope St. Pius X passed away having suffered a heart attack. Or perhaps more appropriately expressed (and in the words of several biographers) of a "broken heart", for having attempted in vain to prevent World War I.
Fully vested in red pontifical Mass vestments, his body was publicly laid in state on August 21st in St. Peter's Basilica. Then on August 22nd, the funeral procession solemnly transferred his body to the Sistine Chapel where it was put into a simple wooden coffin, itself placed atop a large catafalque surrounded with candles. After the Requiem Mass, the bodily remains of St. Pius X were taken back to St. Peter's Basilica and placed in a simple tomb situated within the Chapel of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
On May 19, 1944 St. Pius X's body was exhumed for inspection as part of the beatification inquest, during which his body was found to be miraculously incorrupt.
On February 17, 1952, Pius X was beatified by Pope Pius XII and the declared blessed's body was eventually placed within a bronze and glass sarcophagus under the altar of the Presentation Chapel (where he had been previously entombed). Nearly three years later, Pius XII canonized St. Pius X, the first pope declared a saint since 1712, when Pope Clement XI declared Pius V a saint.
To commemorate this day in history, we offer below a photo gallery of some images of Pope St. Pius X's funeral and resting place. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Society of St. Pius X's patron, SSPX.ORG will be offering further materials on the saintly pope in the weeks to come.