Friday, May 30, 2008

From the International Sodality "Pastor Angelicus"



Sanctissimi in Christo Patris

Eugenii Mariæ Pacelli

Pastoris Angelici, Doctoris Mariani,
Defensoris Almæ Vrbis



On the 9th of October 2008, we will remember the fiftieth anniversary of the passing of Pope Pius XII. He ruled the Catholic Church from 1939, the same year in which the II World War began, until just fifty years ago, 1958. This was one of the most tragic and difficult moments of the convulsed twentieth century. During this conflagration the Pope displayed many varied and efficient charitable activities in favor of the victims, without any discrimination due to racial, political or religious backgrounds. Particularly important and decisive was his contribution to the deliverance of many thousands of Jews in Italy as well as in other war-torn countries where they were being cruelly persecuted. The precious aid and assistance of Pius XII was the object of unanimous acknowledgement from Jewish religious authorities and civil organizations as well as from numerous individuals who benefited from it during and after the war.

As Supreme Pontiff, Pius XII was extraordinary in his sanctity as well as his ability to govern. Gifted with an incredible ability for the office, Pius XII led the Church wisely and firmly while warding off the many dangers menacing the Catholic Faith and Christian civilization. This Pope was a prolific and masterful writer and orator who always had an up-to-date and authoritative word to say on the most relevant questions of the day, and not only on religious matters, but also in the field of human letters and sciences.

In the sphere of Catholic teaching, his achievements were many. Pius XII deepened the understanding of the ecclesiology of the Church with a fuller understanding of the Pauline doctrine on the Mystical Body of Christ (as seen with his encyclical letter Mystici Corporis Christi); further, he renewed biblical studies through the approval of the proper use of the so-called historical critical method of biblical scholarship (as seen in his encyclical letter Divino Afflante Spiritu); he opened new paths to the spiritual and apostolic life through the so-called secular institutes (seen with the Apostolic Constitution Provida Mater); he admirably promoted liturgical studies by incorporating the acquisitions of the authentic liturgical movement while at the same time warning against the deviations of the anti-liturgical heresy (encyclical letter Mediator Dei); he unmasked the so-called Nouvelle Théologie (with his encyclical letter Humani Generis); he enriched the study of mariology as well as exercised the infallible charim of the Papacy with his proclamation in the Holy Year 1950 of the dogma of Our Lady’s Assumption into Heaven (with the papal bull entitled Munificentissimus Deus); he stimulated devotion towards the Sacred Heart of Jesus (with his encyclical letter Haurietis Aquas); he gave a renewed impulse to foreign missions and missioners in the whole word and further promoted native clergy in missionary lands (encyclical letter Fidei Donum); and in short, there was no aspect of Church life upon which Pius XII did not act upon in which we can see his attentive and able leadership. The voice and teachings of Pius XII are so many and varied, so important and significant that even in the documents of the II Vatican Council, we can see that he is the most quoted author only after the Bible itself.

But above all, Eugenio Pacelli was a mystic. With his ethereal figure atop the horizon, he seemed to rise up in his manner of blessing, slowly and intentionally, as he embraced with his very arms the whole of mankind as an offering it to God. Always touching and characteristic was the presence of Pius XII. For Catholics the world over, he inspired the veneration of the faithful; for others, he drew their spontaneous respect. From the throne of Peter, Pius XII watched everything sub specie æternitatis and was conscious of the transcendental nature of his own petrine mission. His openmindness towards the supernatural realities further allowed him to be the witness of two spiritual events which proved to be extraordinary: the reproduction of the so-called "miracle of the sun" of Fatima, which he witnessed in the Vatican gardens in the Holy Year 1950 as well as an apparition in which he saw Our Lord during a serious illness in which he suffered in 1954 while he prayed the Anima Christi prayer. And still further, we look to the prophecy attributed to his pontificate, pronounced so many years before by the pen of St. Malachy, that he would the the Pastor Angelicus (Angelic Shephard).

The SODALITIVM INTERNATIONALE PASTOR ANGELICVS is a lay association founded in Barcelona, Spain, in 1998. Its aim is to spread the knowledge of the life and works of Pius XII as well as to collaborate with the appropriate ecclesiastic authorities so as to assist and promote in the cause of his beatification and canonization. This initiative of the Sodality has enjoyed the support and encouragement of three princes of the Church: the Most Eminent Cardinals Pietro Palazzini, Silvio Oddi and Alfons Maria Stickler, as well as from numerous other prelates and secular and religious clergy. The Sodality is in contact with the Rev. Peter Gumpel S.J., vice-postulator of the cause of Pius XII as well as with the Rev. Pierre Blet S.J., one of the original three scholars who were entrusted by Pope Paul VI to prepare the edition of the "acts and documents" of the Holy See regarding its diplomatic activities during the II World War, which was later published in twelve volumes.

Quickly approaching the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Pius XII, the SODALITIVM INTERNATIONALE PASTOR ANGELICVS invites all Catholics and others to join in this special initiative so as to best commemorate together the life and pontificate of this saintly Pontiff. This is the very reason why the Sodality has planned a series of months, which one can see below, leading up to the culumination in Rome on the 9th of October 2008, in the frame of what we would like to refer to as a “Pacellian Year”. These activities are included here simply as a suggestion for other efforts in different countries in connection with this same year of commemoration. Meanwhile, the climax of this year of memory will be an international pilgrimage to Rome, Italy, which is scheduled for this coming October of 2008. During this very pilgrimage the commemorations in honor of Pope Pius XII, and for the purpose of showing support for his proposed beatification, will end solemnly with Pontifical Mass sung for the repose of his soul in the Borghese Chapel in the Patriarchal Basilica of Saint Mary Major, God-willing, by His Eminence Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos (the date for this Mass has been set for October 9, but the time of the Mass has yet to be announced).


The program of commemorations includes numerous activities such as Masses, conferences and some photo and film exhibitions. Each month until the anniversary date will be dedicated to a specific subject related to a particular aspect of the pontificate of Pope Pius XII.

October 2007: Pius XII and Missions (50th anniversary of the encyclical letter Fidei Donum)
November 2007: Pius XII and the Sacred Liturgy (60th anniversary of the encyclical letter Mediator Dei)
December 2007: Pius XII and the Secular Institutes (60th anniversary of the Apostolic Constitution Provida Mater)
January 2008: Pius XII on the Way to the Altars (the process of beatification and canonization)
February 2008: Pius XII and the Mass Media (cinema, radio and press)
March 2008: Pius XII and the Building of Europe
April 2008: Pius XII and the Hebrew People
May 2008: Pius XII, Marian Doctor (the Blessed Virgin Mary in the writings of Pius XII)
June 2008: Pius XII and the Sacred Heart (Haurietis Aquas)
July 2008: Pius XII and Biblical Studies (Divino Afflante)
August 2008: Pius XII and the Silent Church (against Communism and Nazism)
September 2008: Vatican Life During the Reign of Pius XII
October 2008: International Pilgrimage to Rome for the closing of the memorial year of Pius XII, 2008 (suggested dates: October 6 to 9)

All persons interested in obtaining further information in this regard are invited to please contact us via the following postal and/or e-mail address:

Rodolfo Vargas Rubio
Apartado de Correos 5496
08080 Barcelona

Electronic mail:

1 comment:

humboldt said...

Excellent! Piux XII was the best pope of the XXth century.