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Peregrinatio corporis of the body of saint Pius X

Minister of the Gospel, Pastor of the Church
Treviso and Riese Pio X, 6 – 15 October 2023

The peregrinatio corporis is a precious opportunity to rediscover the extraordinary figure of Pius X whose life journey, which began in the village of Riese, led him to become the successor of Saint Peter. Here you will find an extensive biography, which recounts a holy life entirely devoted to the service of God and neighbour.
The relics of Pius X in Riese

On August 4th, 1903 the cardinals gathered in conclave after the death of Pope Leo XIII elected Giuseppe Sarto, patriarch of Venice, who ascended the papal throne with the name of Pius X.
This year, 2023, therefore marks the 120th anniversary of the election of Pius X, a son of Treviso’s diocese, born in Riese on June 2nd, 1835.
His body, normally exposed for veneration in the Vatican basilica of Saint Peter, will be in Treviso and Riese from 6th to 15th October 2023. Experiencing a pilgrimage to the places where Giuseppe Sarto was born means recognizing that holiness is possible and is a “matter of home”, which rises in a life oriented towards the Lord from an early age. With this pilgrimage we praise the Lord for a “local” witness of a holy life, at the service of the Church and the Gospel, within a precise time.
The relics of the saints are not magical objects, but literally “what remains” of their earthly life and help us to remember and get in touch with their history. They remind us that the Christian faith is made up of corporeity and for this reason they are an opportunity to revive the memory of the saints and to lead us to live our faith in the concreteness of life. The pilgrimage to the mortal remains of the holy Pope Pius X therefore allows us to remember his story, to grasp some aspects of his life of holiness and to allow ourselves to be spurred on to live the good life of the Gospel.

The guiding words of the pilgrimage

The peregrinatio corporis is inspired by three key words that characterize the life and ministry of Pope Sarto.

Giuseppe Sarto led a life in his priestly ministry, in the ordinariness of the parishes of Tombolo and Salzano, of the Seminary and in the diocesan Curia, in the episcopate of Mantua and Venice and in Rome as Pope. In his existence there was the Lord to whom orienting everything while carrying in the heart the passion for humanity in the manner of Christ. Extraordinary figures of holiness are linked to Pius X: Bishop Giovanni Antonio Farina who ordained him a priest, Bishop Andrea Giacinto Longhin chosen by Pius X for the diocese of Treviso, Sister Maria Bertilla Boscardin, the economist Giuseppe Toniolo. But in continuity with them, in the diocese of Treviso, extraordinary witnesses arose who in the years of the Second Vatican Council promoted the renewal of ecclesial life such as Cardinal Pietro Pavan (who contributed to the conciliar declaration Dignitatis humanae and to the encyclical Pacem in terris), bishop Marcello Zago of the O.M.I. (one of the main organizers of the Day of Prayer for Peace which took place on October 27th 1986 in Assisi), the consecrated laywoman Lucia Schiavinato (foundress of the Little Refuges), father Bernardo Sartori (Comboni missionary in Africa), don Luigi Cecchin (fidei donum missionary in Latin America), Sister Maddalena Volpato (of the Daughters of the Church, who gave her life for the unity of the Church).

Giuseppe Sarto was a shepherd – Pope Francis would say – living with the smell of sheep. God’s holy people were in his heart. That is why he innovated religious instruction, promoted children’s access to Eucharistic Communion, renewed the singing of the liturgies. But he did not alienate himself from the needs of the people and the territory. In Salzano he was elected director and superintendent of the schools of the Municipality and opened the first female section of the school when no education was provided for women. Besides, in Salzano he promoted the industrialization of the local activities connected to the production of raw silk. What he did in the time of the great cholera epidemic that hit the Venetian lands in the second half of the 19th century is also remarkable. His pastoral spirit urges us to find new forms for the catechesis of children and young people, precisely in the year of the centenary of the institution of the catechetical office in the Diocese. It pushes for a renewal of parishes called to missionary conversion. And for Christian communities inserted in the territory, capable of taking on the situations of poverty and fragility present in the world of work, education, care for the elderly, prisoners, young people enslaved by addictions of various kinds.

The appeal of Pope Pius X for the protection of the condition of the indigenous people of the Amazon is very topical. In 2023 the diocese of Treviso has the grace to continue and deepen its service to the Churches of the Amazon with the opening of a new interdiocesan mission (together with the dioceses of Padua and Vicenza) in Roraima, Brazil. It is an opportunity to explore some emergencies such as the attention to the “safeguard of creation”, to the sustainability of our lifestyles, to the necessary changes to the economic and financial systems with the projects promoted by the Laudato si’ communities and the activities of committed young people in the movement The economy of Francesco.

The pilgrimage day
The meaning of a pilgrimage

The experience of walking is a metaphor for life. We could consider life as a wandering, a journey through history, through time, in the places and spaces where our lives take place, where we are set to live. Walking and living are, in some respects, synonymous.
From this point of view, making a pilgrimage, setting off, equals experiencing a slice of life. In fact, a pilgrimage is itself as a symbol of Christian life, made up of journeys, encounters, prayer, questions, invocations and amazement.
But there is more to it than that. Going on a pilgrimage is also making a true gesture of faith, because it is a confession of faith in God who becomes a pilgrim in history, to bring our stories to completion. God walks with men and women: his Spirit is at work, he makes the way with us and in us. Walking according to the Spirit (Gal 5:16) is therefore the perspective of the Christian life in which we are all involved. The lives of the saints testify to us that this “life according to the Spirit” is possible, it is a source of joy, it is the fullness of life.

Some attitudes and practical suggestions for living the pilgrimage

We suggest some attitudes and attentions that may help you take advantage of the pilgrimage and live it as an act of faith.
Detachment and sobriety. Leaving one’s home, taking the time to “disconnect” from the daily routine, devoting oneself to the journey, without the mind and heart becoming crowded with anguish. Avoid what can distract you. If you can, turn off your phone and, for a few hours, distance yourself from distractions.
Silence. It is not always easy to live in silence. We live in noisy contexts that do not facilitate silence outside us and, sometimes, not even inside us. It may happen that silence disturbs us and frightens us, but in silence the Lord speaks. Take the time to search and find silence. Put aside useless words, loud comments, shouts during the pilgrimage.
The company. You will also find other pilgrims along the way. Perhaps you are part of a group, a small or large parish group. Consider the gift of sharing this experience with travel companions, entrust them to the Lord. Like you, they too carry joy and sadness, peace and anxieties in their hearts. They too, like you, are on their way: entrust them to the Lord.
The effort. Consider some physical and maybe even spiritual effort. The effort is a sign of the passion you will put into this itinerary.

Prayer is the continuous orientation of thought and heart to the Lord. We turn to him to listen to him, praise him, thank him, ask for his forgiveness, invoke his presence. Helped by the intercession of the saints and Saint Pius X in particular, by praying the rosary or by the invocations that spontaneously arise from your heart, move your steps and orient yourself to the Lord. Present your requests to him.

Pius X cherished this prayer, which we suggest you recite on your pilgrimage, entrusting all your prayer intentions to the Holy Virgin Mary and Pius X. In the guide you will find some useful meditations for prayer.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord defends my life, of whom shall I be afraid?” Ps 27.1
Outside the Cendrole sanctuary it will be possible to light a candle in front of the statue of Saint Pius X, in a specially dedicated place of prayer.
The candle lit in front of the image of a saint is a sign of our pause in prayer.
Prayer is light: the encounter with the Lord illuminates our path and brings light to the people and situations we remember in our intentions.

After having venerated the mortal remains of Saint Pius X, you will have the possibility to entrust your intentions to his intercession. In particular, you can write a prayer to be left in an urn outside the sanctuary. Some of these intentions will be presented to the Lord and read aloud during the pilgrimage days.
In your intentions we suggest that you invoke the Lord through the intercession of Saint Pius X also for:
– the gift of shepherds for God’s people;
– the mission of the Church;
– the gift of peace;
– families and engaged couples;
– the sick in body and spirit.
– the unemployed and the poor.

For this occasion our Bishop Michele has composed a prayer to Pius X which we invite you to pray in union with the pastor of our diocesan Church and with all the pilgrims who share this walking experience with you.

Prayer to Pius X
Minister of the Gospel, Shepherd for the Church

Saint Pius X,
you who with clear and passionate faith
have served the Church
in the desire to bring everything back to Christ,
support our journey
as disciples and witnesses.
Intercede for us:
grant us to know that we have been sent where the love of the Father calls us
and to be peacemakers everywhere.
Help us to love the Holy Scriptures more and more,
so that in them we may get to know Jesus Christ the Lord:
grant us to learn to trust him in everything.
Grant us to enjoy the grace of meeting him with faith in the Eucharist
and to serve him in the least and poorest brothers and sisters.
Pray for us so that
our praise and our lives
become a song of joy
inspired by the Holy Spirit,
and give voice to every creature.
Through your intercession, we invoke
comfort for those who suffer,
friendship with Jesus for the little ones,
the gift of holy vocations,
harmony in the Church,
peace among peoples.


A pilgrimage is a time for walking, prayer, silence, meeting, a time devoted to the Lord. This occasion can be favourable for becoming aware of one’s life situation, praising the Lord, feeling the need to do penance and ask forgiveness for one’s sins.
At the place of prayer outside the Cendrole sanctuary you will find some confessors; you may turn to them to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation.

The visit to the birthplace of Pius X

On the way back from the Cendrole to the centre of Riese, you will be able to cross some rooms of the house where Giuseppe Sarto was born in 1835. The “little house”, as it is popularly called, allows you to get in touch with the holy pope’s childhood. The last interventions are those carried out by the then Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto, a few years before becoming Pope. The furniture and furnishings are original.
Near the “little house” is the museum, rearranged for the occasion of the pilgrimage, which houses personal items that belonged to Pius X.