Wednesday 7 November 2012

Audience of the Saints and Blessed

One Hundred Years since Pius X received Nykyta Budka

Blessed Nykyta Budka often recalled his life-changing meeting with the reigning pontiff, Pope Pius X, on 7 November 1912. On his way from Austrian Galicia to Canada, Budka stopped in Vienna for an audience with his sovereign, Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria-Hungary, and in Rome with the Pope. Pius X was a rigorous man with a gentle heart. The Servant of God, Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, also had life-changing meetings with this saintly Pope. The following is Blessed Budka's account of the papal audience written on the occasion of his Ad limina apostolorum visit to Rome in December 1922:

The words of the Holy Father Pius X of worthy memory, spoken to me in blessing my mission, are truly the following: “Your diocese is the largest in the whole world. But I rejoice in seeing you so young. You have a very wide territory so you can fly. You cannot do everything, so do what you can. You cannot lose your people because you have two treasures. I well know thus about the Ruthenian people: your people loves the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and the Most Blessed Sacrament [of the Eucharist]. With these treasures, you cannot lose your people. Go with confidence. 

Five years later, in an official report to the Apostolic See, Budka again recalled the holy pontiff's words:

The words said to me by the Holy Father Pius X, of most pious memory, [...] are always in my ears and were a stimulus to me, a help, and consolation, and often an admonition to go forward more and more.

This was the first and last time Budka would meet the Pope who appointed him.  Budka was not able to return to Rome for another ten years.  Meanwhile, broken-hearted by the news of the outbreak of the First World War, Pius X died on 20 August 1914.  He was beatified in 1951 and canonized in 1954. 

[An sorter version post was published in 2010]