NY REASON WILL DO to mention Pope Pius XII. He is the first Pope to visit America, the first to publish papal speeches in the vernacular and the first representative of any major organization to make an official denunciation of Nazism.
After Jeff’s post about children gamboling around our sovereign pontiff, a friend gave this comment:
Pope Pius XII was, in his own way, perhaps the boldest innovator among the Popes of the twentieth century, the most frequently quoted in Vatican II, both overall, and in every single document except Gaudium et Spes. He started a program to recognize the maturity of the faith in missionary countries by ordaining native born bishops (including in Australia), made the statement “The Laity are the Church“, anticipated the Second Vatican Council in pointing out that the laity are called to evangelical perfection (Evangelii Praecones, 36; Mystici Corporis, 17), pointed out that the laity do “in a sense, offer the divine victim” (Mediator Dei, 86), anticipated the later emphasis on Collegiality (properly understood) by placing the relationship of the Episcopate to Christ before talking about the significant role of Peter and his successors (Mystici Corporis, 40-43), encouraged ecumenism (Mystici Corporis, 96; The Holy Office Instruction, On the Ecumenical Movement). In fact, I would hold that recognizing the continuity of Pope Pius XII with the Second Vatican Council is key to reading the Council correctly. – Br Robert OP
So I flipped to my trusty biography of Pope Pius XII by Cardinal Cushing and find the anniversary of this Pope’s death was just a few days ago on October 9. Maybe one day that will be his feast day.
Not to be put off, I scanned through the handy chronology and found that today is the anniversary of Eugenio Pacelli’s first Holy Communion in 1886. He was ten years old.
I’d like to share some photos with you. He served through turbulent times yet made time for the liturgy.