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Pope Pius XII

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Pope Pius XII Empty Pope Pius XII

Post  May on Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:59 pm

OK, I hope this topic doesn't start any flame wars or attract any nasty comments onto the forum. Wink Elena, I hope you can post links to some of your Tea at Trianon articles on Pius XII.

A biography from 1945:
http://archive.org/details/lifeofpopepiusxi006759mbp
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Post  May on Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:26 am


His coronation.

Reciting the Our Father in Latin.

Ceremonies for a Holy Year, 1950.
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Post  Elena on Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:51 am

Thanks for starting this thread! I am delighted!sunny 

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Post  May on Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:59 pm

Pope Pius XII F1110
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Pictures of a younger Eugenio Pacelli.
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Post  May on Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:01 pm

Pope Pius XII Pope-p10
Pope Pius XII Pio_xi10
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Post  Elena on Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:09 pm

Great pictures. Here are my posts on Pius XII:
http://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/search?q=Pius+xii

One of the latest ones, here:
http://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-exoneration-of-pope-pius-xii.html

This is from the Daily Mail:

Pius XII has long been vilified as 'Hitler's Pope' because he failed to publicly to condemn the genocide of Europe's Jews. Now British author Gordon Thomas says he has found extensive material that Vatican insiders believe will reveal the part that the pontiff played in saving lives and opposing Nazism.

Mr Thomas, a Protestant, was given access to previously unpublished Vatican documents and tracked down victims, priests and others who had not told their stories before. The Pope's Jews, which will be published next month, details how Pius gave his blessing to the establishment of safe houses in the Vatican and Europe's convents and monasteries. He oversaw a secret operation with code names and fake documents for priests who risked their lives to shelter Jews, some of whom were even made Vatican subjects. Mr Thomas shows that priests were instructed to issue baptism certificates to hundreds of Jews hidden in Genoa, Rome and elsewhere in Italy.

More than 2,000 Jews in Hungary were given fabricated Vatican documents identifying them as Catholics and a network saved German Jews by bringing them to Rome. The pope appointed a priest with extensive funds with which to provide food, clothing and medicine. More than 4,000 Jews were hidden in convents and monasteries across Italy.

During and immediately after the war, the pope was considered a Jewish saviour. Jewish leaders – such as Jerusalem's chief rabbi in 1944 – said the people of Israel would never forget what he and his delegates 'are doing for our unfortunate brothers and sisters at the most tragic hour'.

Jewish newspapers in Britain and America echoed that praise, and Hitler branded him 'a Jew lover'.

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Post  May on Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:13 pm

Thanks, Elena! Here is an interview re: Pius XII's wartime actions with Sir Martin Gilbert, who is Jewish and a noted Churchill scholar.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyrCbq4W5D4
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Post  May on Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:20 pm

And here is some more...some brief talks by Ronald Rychlak and William Doino defending the Pope:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZC_xIqB_Sgs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1N_Bcxmq_c

Ronald Rychlak is the author of Hitler, the War and the Pope. Here is a review from 2000; in 2010 a second edition of the book was published.

http://www.newoxfordreview.org/reviews.jsp?did=1000-lapomarda
Unlike many historians who have studied the period, Rychlak does not lose sight of the struggle for survival in which the Church was engaged against the Nazis, who were bent on wiping out Christianity itself. In this way, the author gives a balanced presentation of what the Church under Pius was able — and unable — to do in confronting Hitler’s reign of terror. While Rychlak’s statistics on what the Church suffered during the war might differ, documents show that some 4,000 priests were killed by the Nazis, including at least 850 Poles at Dachau, about 780 from various nations at Mauthausen, not to mention another 120 shot in France. At the same time, one cannot overlook the more than 230 women religious who were murdered and many more who were imprisoned in concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Ravensbruck, including almost 400 nuns at Bajanowo. And all this does not include the Nazi harassment of the Catholic clergy, laity, and religious as well as the closing of Catholic schools before World War II, violations which occasioned the rebuke of Pope Pius XI in Mit Brennender Sorge (March 14, 1937), an encyclical composed under the direction of Pacelli as Papal Secretary of State.

With such an appreciation of the depth and breadth of the struggle between Catholicism and Nazism, which included the destruction of churches, convents, and schools during the war, Rychlak confronts the major issues that relate to Pope Pius XII. On the one hand, he shows that Pius (1) was not anti-Semitic, (2) was not a blind anti-Communist, (3) was not a creature in the hands of Hitler, (4) was not an appeaser in the pursuit of peace, and (5) was not afraid to risk his life for the Church. On the other hand, the author establishes that the Pope (1) was knowledgeable of the Final Solution during the war, (2) was wise to avoid issuing a public condemnation of the persecution of the Jews, (3) was convinced that the best way to help the Jews was to avoid a public display of his actions, (4) was more helpful than any other international agency, person, or state in helping the Jews during the Holocaust, and (5) was correct in not excommunicating the Nazi leader.

What is truly illuminating about Rychlak’s study is that he focuses on the significance (in a section he calls “The Real Answer”) of the Pope’s first encyclical, Summi Pontificatus (October 20, 1939), and how it told the world about the papal plan of action during the war. In particular, with respect to the Jews, his paragraphs dealing with race (nos. 45 to 50) show that the Church is open to all nationalities and races according to the teachings of the New Testament, as expressed by St. Paul himself (Col. 3:10,11). In light of the controversy over the “lost” encyclical on anti-Semitism, which Jesuits such as John LaFarge and his European colleagues had drafted for Pope Pius XI, readers may be surprised to learn that Pius XII actually integrated parts of that draft into his own first encyclical, excluding, understandably, its racist and anti-Semitic statements that characterized the position of many Catholics at that time. In this way, the Pope was demonstrating the Vatican’s regard not only for those who were Catholic but also for those who were not. In fact, a closer reading of the encyclical reveals that, contrary to Pacelli’s detractors, Pius was very concerned with the way in which both the Communists and the Nazis had carved up Poland (nos. 101-106). And, with respect to the Nazi leader himself, to use Rychlak’s own words about Summi Pontificatus, “This encyclical shows that Pius XII did not waiver in his approach to Hitler and the Nazis.”
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Post  May on Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:59 pm

Some pictures of a smiling Pacelli.
Pope Pius XII Pius10
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Post  May on Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:08 pm

A selection of his encyclicals and other writings:
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/index.htm
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Post  princess garnet on Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:55 pm

There was a photo of him meeting someone from an Eastern-rite Catholic Church I came across awhile back.

Of interest, here are two books I've read about the Pope Pius XII during WWII: The Pope's Jews by Gordon Thomas (published last Oct.) and The Myth of Hitler's Pope by Rabbi David G. Dalin. Both are informative and interesting reads!

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Post  May on Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:46 am

Yes, those sound like good choices, Princess!

Video of a Mass offered by Pius XII.
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Post  May on Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:02 pm

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/5195584/Vatican-planned-to-move-to-Portugal-if-Nazis-captured-wartime-Pope.html

Article from 2009 about Pius XII's contingency plans if he were arrested by the Nazis. He was going to resign in such an eventuality:
The bishops would then be expected to flee to a safe country – probably neutral Portugal – where they would re-establish the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church and appoint a new Pontiff.
That Hitler considered kidnapping the Pope has been documented before, but this is the first time that details have emerged of the Vatican's strategy should the Nazis carry out the plan.
"Pius said 'if they want to arrest me they will have to drag me from the Vatican'," said Peter Gumpel, the German Jesuit priest who is in charge of researching whether Pius should be made a saint, and therefore has access to secret Vatican archives.
Pius, who was Pope throughout the war, told his advisers "the person who would leave the under these conditions would not be Pius XII but Eugenio Pacelli" – his name before he was elected Pontiff – thus giving permission for a new Pope to be elected.
"It would have been disastrous if the Church had been left without an authoritative leader," said Father Gumpel.
"Pius wouldn't leave voluntarily. He had been invited repeatedly to go to Portugal or Spain or the United States but he felt he could not leave his diocese under these severe and tragic circumstances." Vatican documents, which still remain secret, are believed to show that Pius was aware of a plan formulated by Hitler in July 1943 to occupy the Vatican and arrest him and his senior cardinals.
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Post  Bunnies on Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:39 pm

Heh, I've always been inordinately amused by the accusation you commonly see levelled against the Catholic Church. That is, that they should've done "more" to curb the casualties of the holocaust. That's not a point I'll debate, I think everyone should've done more.

But focusing on the Catholic Church is particularly unjust. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I do believe that the Catholic Church saved more lives than any other institution. Yes, let's focus on the most helpful organization and shower condemnation upon it. Guys, the question isn't 'why didn't the Catholic Church do more' but why was the Catholic Church acting virtually alone.

Okay, okay, I lied. They did have a rival. The Spanish dictator Franco comes in second place.

Zealous Catholics and dictators, curbing the genocide masterminded by a Zealous Dictator. The world's funny sometimes.  

Anyway, good man this pope.
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Post  Elena on Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:51 pm

Great point, Bunnies. Pius XII was personally responsible for saving more Jewish lives than any of the other world leaders, including Roosevelt. Not to mention all the Catholics who acted privately to rescue Jews. (And lots of Protestants, too, like the Ten Boom family in Holland.) Yes, I, too, do not understand why others did not do more. scratch 

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Post  princess garnet on Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:24 pm

To add to the list, as an Orthodox Christian example, Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria is credited for saving the entire Jewish population in his kingdom from deportation.  His consort Tsaritsa Ioanna (formerly of the House of Savoy and who remained a life long Catholic) contributed as well.
After the war, many Bulgarian Jews emigrated to Israel.  I've read there's a park dedicated to the Tsar there today.

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Post  Bunnies on Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:34 pm

I'm pretty sure Franco, who I mentioned was only topped by the Catholic Church itself when it came to rescuing would-be holocaust victims, was Catholic as well.
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Post  May on Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:34 pm

Thanks to everyone for their comments and observations! sunny 

Here is a collection of letters and speeches of Pius XII:

http://archive.org/details/guideforlivingan012829mbp

An interesting picture of him, apparently wearing a Chinese chasuble:

Pope Pius XII Pius_x10
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Post  May on Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:02 pm

In honor of the Feast of the Assumption today (and the birthday of our kind hostess on this forum sunny ) here is the text of Munificentissimus Deus, the Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius XII, issued November 1, 1950, defining this dogma of the Catholic faith.
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/P12MUNIF.HTM
This is an excerpt, but I encourage everyone to read the whole thing, of course:
13. Various testimonies, indications and signs of this common belief of the Church are evident from remote times down through the course of the centuries; and this same belief becomes more clearly manifest from day to day.

14. Christ's faithful, through the teaching and the leadership of their pastors, have learned from the sacred books that the Virgin Mary, throughout the course of her earthly pilgrimage, led a life troubled by cares, hardships, and sorrows, and that, moreover, what the holy old man Simeon had foretold actually came to pass, that is, that a terribly sharp sword pierced her heart as she stood under the cross of her divine Son, our Redeemer. In the same way, it was not difficult for them to admit that the great Mother of God, like her only begotten Son, had actually passed from this life. But this in no way prevented them from believing and from professing openly that her sacred body had never been subject to the corruption of the tomb, and that the august tabernacle of the Divine Word had never been reduced to dust and ashes. Actually, enlightened by divine grace and moved by affection for her, God's Mother and our own dearest Mother, they have contemplated in an ever clearer light the wonderful harmony and order of those privileges which the most provident God has lavished upon this loving associate of our Redeemer, privileges which reach such an exalted plane that, except for her, nothing created by God other than the human nature of Jesus Christ has ever reached this level.

15. The innumerable temples which have been dedicated to the Virgin Mary assumed into heaven clearly attest this faith. So do those sacred images, exposed therein for the veneration of the faithful, which bring this unique triumph of the Blessed Virgin before the eyes of all men. Moreover, cities, dioceses, and individual regions have been placed under the special patronage and guardianship of the Virgin Mother of God assumed into heaven. In the same way, religious institutes, with the approval of the Church, have been founded and have taken their name from this privilege. Nor can we pass over in silence the fact that in the Rosary of Mary, the recitation of which this Apostolic See so urgently recommends, there is one mystery proposed for pious meditation which, as all know, deals with the Blessed Virgin's Assumption into heaven.

16. This belief of the sacred pastors and of Christ's faithful is universally manifested still more splendidly by the fact that, since ancient times, there have been both in the East and in the West solemn liturgical offices commemorating this privilege. The holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church have never failed to draw enlightenment from this fact since, as everyone knows, the sacred liturgy, "because it is the profession, subject to the supreme teaching authority within the Church, of heavenly truths, can supply proofs and testimonies of no small value for deciding a particular point of Christian doctrine."[10]

17. In the liturgical books which deal with the feast either of the dormition or of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin there are expressions that agree in testifying that, when the Virgin Mother of God passed from this earthly exile to heaven, what happened to her sacred body was, by the decree of divine Providence, in keeping with the dignity of the Mother of the Word Incarnate, and with the other privileges she had been accorded. Thus, to cite an illustrious example, this is set forth in that sacramentary which Adrian I, our predecessor of immortal memory, sent to the Emperor Charlemagne. These words are found in this volume: "Venerable to us, O Lord, is the festivity of this day on which the holy Mother of God suffered temporal death, but still could not be kept down by the bonds of death, who has begotten your Son our Lord incarnate from herself."[11]

18. What is here indicated in that sobriety characteristic of the Roman liturgy is presented more clearly and completely in other ancient liturgical books. To take one as an example, the Gallican sacramentary designates this privilege of Mary's as "an ineffable mystery all the more worthy of praise as the Virgin's Assumption is something unique among men." And, in the Byzantine liturgy, not only is the Virgin Mary's bodily Assumption connected time and time again with the dignity of the Mother of God, but also with the other privileges, and in particular with the virginal motherhood granted her by a singular decree of God's Providence. "God, the King of the universe, has granted you favors that surpass nature. As he kept you a virgin in childbirth, thus he has kept your body incorrupt in the tomb and has glorified it by his divine act of transferring it from the tomb."[12]

19. The fact that the Apostolic See, which has inherited the function entrusted to the Prince of the Apostles, the function of confirming the brethren in the faith,[13] has by its own authority, made the celebration of this feast ever more solemn, has certainly and effectively moved the attentive minds of the faithful to appreciate always more completely the magnitude of the mystery it commemorates. So it was that the Feast of the Assumption was elevated from the rank which it had occupied from the beginning among the other Marian feasts to be classed among the more solemn celebrations of the entire liturgical cycle. And, when our predecessor St. Sergius I prescribed what is known as the litany, or the stational procession, to be held on four Marian feasts, he specified together the Feasts of the Nativity, the Annunciation, the Purification, and the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.[14] Again, St. Leo IV saw to it that the feast, which was already being celebrated under the title of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother of God, should be observed in even a more solemn way when he ordered a vigil to be held on the day before it and prescribed prayers to be recited after it until the octave day. When this had been done, he decided to take part himself in the celebration, in the midst of a great multitude of the faithful.[15] Moreover, the fact that a holy fast had been ordered from ancient times for the day prior to the feast is made very evident by what our predecessor St. Nicholas I testifies in treating of the principal fasts which "the Holy Roman Church has observed for a long time, and still observes."[16]

20. However, since the liturgy of the Church does not engender the Catholic faith, but rather springs from it, in such a way that the practices of the sacred worship proceed from the faith as the fruit comes from the tree, it follows that the holy Fathers and the great Doctors, in the homilies and sermons they gave the people on this feast day, did not draw their teaching from the feast itself as from a primary source, but rather they spoke of this doctrine as something already known and accepted by Christ's faithful. They presented it more clearly. They offered more profound explanations of its meaning and nature, bringing out into sharper light the fact that this feast shows, not only that the dead body of the Blessed Virgin Mary remained incorrupt, but that she gained a triumph out of death, her heavenly glorification after the example of her only begotten Son, Jesus Christ-truths that the liturgical books had frequently touched upon concisely and briefly.

An Italian video clip of the ceremony at which Pius XII defined the Assumption.
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Post  May on Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:49 pm

Today is the 55th anniversary of the death of Pius XII. Here is a collection of newspaper accounts of the time:

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=3304

Some may find it interesting that he was consecrated a bishop on May 13, 1917, the same day as the first Marian apparition at Fatima, and buried October 13, 1958, the anniversary of the last apparition/Miracle of the Sun.
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Post  May on Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:15 pm

Pope Pius XII 43a_1910
Pius XII reported seeing the turning sun four times in the Vatican gardens.
http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pius-xii-saw-miracle-of-the-sun
Pius XII's note says that he saw the miracle in the year he was to proclaim the dogma of the Assumption, 1950, while he walked in the Vatican Gardens.

He said he saw the phenomenon various times, considering it a confirmation of his plan to declare the dogma.

The papal note says that at 4 p.m. on Oct. 30, 1950, during his "habitual walk in the Vatican Gardens, reading and studying," having arrived to the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, "toward the top of the hill […] I was awestruck by a phenomenon that before now I had never seen."

"The sun, which was still quite high, looked like a pale, opaque sphere, entirely surrounded by a luminous circle," he recounted. And one could look at the sun, "without the slightest bother. There was a very light little cloud in front of it."

The Holy Father's note goes on to describe "the opaque sphere" that "moved outward slightly, either spinning, or moving from left to right and vice versa. But within the sphere, you could see marked movements with total clarity and without interruption."

Pius XII said he saw the same phenomenon "the 31st of October and Nov. 1, the day of the definition of the dogma of the Assumption, and then again Nov. 8, and after that, no more."

The Pope acknowledged that on other days at about the same hour, he tried to see if the phenomenon would be repeated, "but in vain -- I couldn't fix my gaze [on the sun] for even an instant; my eyes would be dazzled."

Pius XII spoke about the incident with a few cardinals and close collaborators, such that Sister Pascalina Lehnert, the nun in charge of the papal apartments, declared that "Pius XII was very convinced of the reality of the extraordinary phenomenon, which he had seen on four occasions."
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Post  May on Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:29 pm

He also had a vision of Jesus at his bedside during a near-fatal illness in 1954.

http://www.angelusonline.org/index.php?section=articles&subsection=show_article&article_id=1659

On the evening of December 1st, they gave up all hope—understandably. The Pope couldn't even lift his hand. The signs of life were faint, indeed. His heartbeat was like the flutter of a dying goldfinch's wing stroke. His breathing was hardly able to cloud a mirror. All the world knew he was dying. Orthodox and Protestant, knowing how Christ-like he was, joined Catholics in praying for the Holy Father. In St. Peter's Square they knelt in throngs beneath the windows of the Papal apartment. They bowed their heads in prayer, and looked up at the Papal apartment windows. And they looked for a sign.

The Pope also felt that he was dying. His mind was clear, and he was not one to indulge in illusions. If he had any hopes, it was probably the hope that he be permitted to lay down the heavy burden.

But—the Eternal Physician had other plans. Pius XII was strengthened in his expectation of death later that evening. He was very alone for a moment, when he heard a Voice say, "There will be a Vision!" Who can imagine how exalted the dying Pontiff became at these words? Certain that he had found favor in Our Lord's eyes, the Pope gave thanks, and fell into a childlike sleep.

Early on the morning of December 2nd, 1954 he awoke. There was enough daylight in the room for him to recognize all that was about him. Knowing that he was weaker than ever, and believing the time for death was drawing near, he started to recite the Anima Christi (Soul of Christ). At the very moment that he reached the part, "Call me when my life shall fail me," Pius XII saw the Savior standing by his bedside, "silent in all His eloquent majesty." It was the first time he knew of Our Lord appearing in such a way to a Pope since St. Peter asked, "Quo Vadis, Domine?" Like St. Peter, when he was first called, Pius XII thought Our Lord was inviting him to "Follow Me." With joy in his heart, the Holy Father said, with what strength he had: "O bone Jesu! O bone Jesu! Voca me; iube me venire ad Te!" (O good Jesus! O good Jesus! Call Thou me; order me to come to Thee!) But alas, Our gentle Savior had not come to summon Pius XII home, but to comfort him. And after a little while He went away.

The Pope soon recovered from his eleven month near-death illness. Two mornings after the vision, the doctors came to see their "hopeless" patient. He greeted them by saying, "Good morning, gentlemen! I am happy to see you." Three weeks later, he gave his Christmas message to the world. And soon thereafter, he was more vigorous than he had been in years.

He had never intended the story of the vision of Our Lord to become public during his lifetime. He apparently had told some who were close to him—but who would keep such a thing from every living soul? Nearly a year afterwards, on November 18, 1955, it came out by way of the Italian picture magazine, Oggi. Someone close to the Holy Father must have related the tale to the article's writer, Luigi Cavicchioli. On the day of publication, the Vatican's phones rang incessantly. "No comment" was the reply. The world furor was swamping the small staff with calls from reporters the world over. What could they say? The Vatican never chooses to reply to any statement made about the Pope. So, for two days, poor Luigi Cavicchioli was the most discredited reporter in the world.

Pius XII knew how many would react if the story became public. But he also knew that the account in Oggi was largely correct. He could not bear to see the writer ruined for reporting what he knew to be true. Even though he had wanted it to be kept secret. So, on November 21st he ordered the Vatican press director, Luciano Casmiri, to confirm the truth of the Oggi story.

A deeply hurt Pontiff was overwhelmed by a storm of 20th century skepticism. But he was ready for that. Alas, it was not universal. Far more people accepted it as simple truth. And now they addressed him as they once had the just-canonized St. Pius X. At his next public audience, the crowd exclaimed, "Viva il Santo Papa!" The December 4th, 1955 issue of the Vatican Sunday newspaper, L'Osservatore della Domenica, printed the official version of the event. It was probably written or authenticated by the Pope himself.
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Post  Elena on Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:41 pm

That's amazing! I never heard of this! Here is an article from Chiesa:
http://www.chiesaviva.com/pio%20XII%20fr.pdf

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Post  May on Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:14 am

According to this Italian article, the vision of Christ also gave Pius XII a prophetic message.  The Pope wrote down what he was told, with instructions to open the letter only after his death. Although John XXIII later read the letter,  the contents were never officially revealed. There were some who had been close to Pius XII who claimed that part of the message was: "Pray…for great events are maturing on earth.  Everything will be changed, for the world must prepare itself to welcome My Reign." Reportedly Pius XII himself, alluding to this vision, used to say: "When the loss is great, Jesus will be at the gates."

A pity we never got to hear the full story.

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=it&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ilcattolicoonline.org%2FIl%20mistero%20di%20Santa%20Bibiana%20di%20Pio%20XII.doc&anno=2
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Post  Elena on Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:33 am

Oh, thank you for this. It gives me hope.sunny 

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