Sunday, August 12, 2007

Pius XII

The other day Roman and I agreed that Pius XII is our favourite 20th century Pope. He is certainly a Pope who has been misunderstood. A great site that I found this afternoon is this:

This has an amazing range of newsreel footage of Pius XII. I have only seen a couple of videos. After my Masses today, I relaxed at home watching Pius going over to Santa Maria Sopra Minerva to preside at Mass in honour of St Francis of Assisi and St Catherine of Siena.
At the end of Mass he ascended the pulpit to preach a sermon - and what a sermon! This is the first time I had seen or heard him preach. My elementary Italian allowed me to understand about two-thirds of it, but I just love the drama with the hand gestures (very Italian) and by the look of it no microphones!!
Have a look - if you scroll down you will find "Pius XII: Mass". That is the one.
Personally, I did find Santa Maria Sopra Minerva itself a little disappointing. Like most Roman churches the "ironing board" (I like to call it the "picnic table") was out in front of the High Altar. However the advantage was that they allowed the public to ascend the steps of the High Altar to visit the shrine of St Catherine. It shows up in the video clip quite well. We lit a couple of light bulbs (votive candles apparently violate EEC fire regulations these days) and prayed to St Catherine.
On the opposite side of the square is THE pilgrimage site for ecclesiastical fashionistas; Gamarellis, Papal tailors since 1798. There is not much to see - it is obviously the sort of place where they come to you not you go to them, but you could see autographed photos of their previous clients on one wall: Pius XI, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II. Pius XII did not use them - he used another tailor. I am not sure about Benedict.


Br_Lawrence said...

Great blog! keep up the good work. I have a few spare Libers if you ever need to borrow one, likewise for vestments. As for ceremonies, always count me in! Have been a head server, MC and a million other things... Roman will tell you who I am if you ask him. Other thank that, feel free to contact me on or mobile 0433 285 583.


Summa Theologica said...

My order would be 1) Pius X 2) Leo XIII (if we count him as 20th century given he died in 1903 3) Pius XII.

This is all ecclesiastically incorrect to leave JPII out but I think you need more time to pass for a more objective assessment.

Fr. Reginald Wilson said...

It is really great to view all those achival footages of HH Pius XII. If you get any more please publish them. He was a truly magnificent Pope!