|St. John XXIII and|
the incorrupt body of St. Pius X.
In 1913, Pope Pius X suffered a heart attack from which he never fully recovered. On the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, [August 15, 1914] he became ill for the final time. His condition was exacerbated by the outbreak of World War I. Following a second heart attack, he went to his eternal reward on August 20, 1914.
Pius X was buried in an unadorned tomb in the crypt beneath St. Peter's Basilica. Papal physicians customarily removed organs from the deceased pontiff's corpse as part of the embalming process. Pius X prohibited this practice in his burial, as have successive popes. Forty years after his death, Pius X's body was exhumed as part of the beatification process and found intact. Below is rare footage of St. Pius X's incorrupt body in which his face is adorned with a bronze mask. St. John XXIII is seen venerating his predecessor's earthly remains along with various princes of the Church among others.