Tuesday, August 25, 2015
ADSS 1.105 Pius XII to Venetian Pilgrims: peace initiatives
ADSS 1.105 Pope Pius XII to Venetian pilgrims
Reference: ASS Pius XII, 1939, pp8-9
Location and date: Castel Gandolfo, 19.08.1939
Summary statement: The Pope refers to his initiatives for peace
We wish in the present circumstances above all to pray for peace, for Italy, for the peace of Europe and the world. The Great War broke the heart of that wonderful Pope [Pius X] whose revered and scared memory has been evoked today, as though he had a foreboding of all the horrors and massacres a world conflict was bound to let loose. His successor, Benedict XV, of holy memory, yearned and prayed for peace, appealed for moderation in feeling and thought, for forgiveness in the interests of international peace.
Our immediate predecessor, Pius XI, of glorious memory, who at this moment comes to Our mind side by side with Pius X, made a gesture less than a year ago that moved the world when he offered his life to God. In the present renewal of heartfelt anxiety We have tried from the first instant of our pontificate and made every effort to remove from the world the dangers of war, to contribute to the consolidation of a permanent peace based on justice, without prejudice to the honour and freedom of nations. We have even, as far as the duties of our Apostolic ministry would permit, neglected other urgent tasks. We have exercised a prudent reserve for fear of hampering the work of peace, conscious of whatever concerned the best interests of the Church and of the world.
We refuse to abandon hope of seeing feelings of moderation and equity putting off a conflict, which everyone can foresee as outdoing all material and spiritual destruction of the past. We persist in believing that the nations’ rulers will, at the decisive moment, refuse to shoulder the tremendous responsibility of an appeal to arms.
But beyond human hopes as inspired by the wisdom and goodness found in men, Our eyes look to the Almighty, the Father of mercy and consolation, Who alone can inspire nations with His wisdom. We state, on this memorable day, a wish in which we are united with you our venerable Brothers and beloved Sons, with all Catholics and with all others outside the Church whose prayers and good will count for so much and who all alike long for peace: We wish to beg of Him, Who holds in His palm the hearts and minds of all rulers, that in His infinite mercy He may stop all war at present raging and save us from worse conflicts. May God becalm this troubled world with peace and fruitful concord between peoples and nations; for this We shall never cease fervently imploring Him: Da pacem Domine in diebus nostris. [Give peace in our time O Lord, Introit for Sunday XVIII after Pentecost]