Sunday, July 20, 2008

St. Pius X and the Bells of St. Mark's

While searching for something else, I came across an odd article about St. Pius X and one of his last wishes. Apparently, the Make a Papal Wish Foundation wasn't around in 1912.

St. Pius X wanted to hear the bells from St. Mark's Square in Venice one last time before he died, so he arranged for a special phone call. He said, that the phone call would make him the "happiest in nine years". Unfortunately, his doctors were concerned that it would be too emotional an event for him and they cancelled the call.

Venice was not his home diocese, but his last assignment before being elected to the papacy. He spent 10 years there, and apparently developed a strong attachment to the archdiocese. The bells must have reminded him of an easier, freer time where it was easier to use his pastoral skills and minister directly to the faithful.

I wonder if he ever got to hear the bells before he died a little over two years later.

If you are interested the article is from the New York Times - April 25, 1912.

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