Chicago: Regnery, 1955. First edition. Large octavo (9 3/4 inches tall), original white paper boards with gilt papal arms, original dust jacket. Offsetting to blank flyleaves, light edge-wear to unclipped dust jacket. A near-fine copy. Item #907
"EVEN DURING HIS LIFETIME LEGENDS BEGAN TO GROW AROUND HIM" First American edition of this deluxe pictorial biography of Pope Pius X, issued shortly after his canonization in May 1954. St. Pius X is the most contemporary of Leonard von Matt's series of pictorial Lives of the Saints; the dozens of gorgeous black-and-white plates include actual photographs of Giuseppe Sarto. Nello Vian's text, arranged in short vignettes, provides context for the photographs and the two small maps (1. 'The Little World of Giuseppe Sarto' and 2. '4th August, 1903') appended at the end of the text. Pius X was "a man of sincere...piety. While he was still alive, he was spoken of as a saint. Forty years after his death...Pope Pius XII confirmed that opinion by canonizing him" (John. W. O'Malley). The canonization—in the Marian year of 1954—was a high point in the pontificate of Pius XII as "he carried to new heights the almost mythical exaltation of the monarchical papacy" (Thomas Bokenkotter). There are several dramatic images of Pope Pius XII framed against the vast crowds of pilgrims in St. Peter's Square. The Memorial of St. Pius X is celebrated on August 21st. This English translation (published in the same year as the first British edition) was preceded by the original German edition and subsequent editions in French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch. Translated from the German by Sebastian Bullough, O.P. Approbations. O'Malley, A History of the Popes. Bokenkotter, A Concise History of the Catholic Church.