ADSS 1.230 Pius XII to King Vittorio Emanuale and Queen Elena
Saturday, September 24, 2016
ADSS 1.230 Pius XII to King Vittorio Emanuale & Queen Elena of Italy
Reference: AAS 31 (1939), pp 708-09
Location and date: Vatican, 21.12.1939
Summary statement: The pope greets the King and Queen and congratulates the Italian government on keeping Italy out of the war (1).
The solemn visit that His Imperial Majesty with His August Consort the Queen Empress, shining example to Italian women, and accompanied by such splendid and noble retinue, have deigned to make to Our Person, as they did ten years ago, to Our Venerable Predecessor – Your Majesty being the wise conciliator, between the Church and the Italian State – has appeared to Our mind so much more gratifying because it is illumined by the glow of the imminent and holy solemnity of Christmas, feast of peace, feast of redeeming charity. This visit takes place at a moment when other peoples are dragged into war, and peace and quiet have abandoned so many hearts. Italy on the other hand, though always wary and prepared under the august and wise hand of its King Emperor and the far seeing leadership of its Government, remains at peace, in continued civilised harmony, devoting itself to the promotion of arts, literature, science, agriculture and industry, in sea and air transportation, all in the observance of the solemn rites of the Catholic religion.
The faith which through the centuries has inspired the House of Savoy and elevated some of its sons even to the altar, has today testified to Us how intensely it lives on in the Royal and Imperial Dynasty, whose glory is exalted in the emblem of the white cross. On their Majesties, on the beloved Royal Family, on the Head and Members of the Government, on the persons here present We invoke, as the Christmas festivities approach, Heaven’s most abundant benedictions. May the Omnipotent hand of God guide the fortunes of the Italian people, so near and dear to Us, and the decisions of its rulers, so that they may not only preserve, with far sighted vigilance and with deep wisdom, their internal and external peace, but also contribute to the re-establishment of an honourable and lasting universal peace!
(1) The visit to the Vatican by the King and Queen of Italy was seen by many as the final seal of reconciliation between the Kingdom of Italy and the Vatican. A week later Pius made the first visit by a pope to the Quirinal Palace, formerly the Pope’s official residence in Rome, to the King and Queen. See ADSS 1.237