Sunday, August 17, 2014

ADSS 11.330 Giovanni Montini to representatives of the Holy See - death of Cardinal Maglione

Cardinal Maglione had left Rome on 21.07.1944 for some vacation time in his hometown of Casoria, about ten kilometres north of Naples. Luigi Maglione had a heart condition that had gradually worsened over the war years.  The pope had told him to take what ever time he needed to recover (ADSS 11.314).  Ten days later he was admitted to one of the "fixed hospitals" established by the American army after the liberation of Naples in October 1943.  He stayed for just under two weeks before discharging himself and returning home to Casoria.   On 22.08.1944 Maglione suffered a fatal heart attack.  His death came as a shock to his colleagues in the Secretariat of State where Giovanni Battista Montini and Domenico Tardini had assumed Maglione's responsibilities.  Upon Maglione's death, Pius XII subsumed the position of Secretary of State into his own office for the rest of his pontificate.

11.330 Giovanni Battista Montini to representatives of the Holy See.

Reference: Telegram circular. (ASS Maglione file)

Location and date: Vatican, 22.08.1944

Summary statement: News of the death of Cardinal Maglione.

Language: French


It is my sorrowful duty to communicate that today, 22 August, at 04.00 this morning, my dear superior, Cardinal Maglione died of a heart attack in Casoria. (1) I commend him to your prayers.  Would you please inform governments (2) and episcopates.

Montini (3).

(1) See ADSS 11.314.  Cardinal Maglione had voluntarily left the American hospital in Naples on 12.08.1944 and stayed in his home in Casoria.  News of his death was telephoned to Domenico Tardini by Alfonso Castaldo (1890-1966) bishop of Pozzuoli (1935-1950).
(2) The text sent to Apostolic Delegates omitted the word “government”.
(3) The same communication sent to the Curial cardinals and those outside of Rome was signed by both Montini and Tardini.

 Luigi Cardinal Maglione 1877-1944
Secretary of State 1939-1944
Photo taken in 1927 while he was nuncio in France.

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