Rorate Caeli

September 29th 1946: Pope Pius XII addresses the Italian Worker Associations



'Sala dello Swizzero' Pontifical Palace, Castel Gandolfo, 

Sunday, September 29, 1946

Pope Pius XII with the women participants at the first congress for Italian Catholic workers, 1946 

With paternal affection We warmly welcome you, beloved sons and daughters - and through you, we greet the thousands of Catholic workers you represent  and for whose greatest good you have assembled here over the last few days, at your first Italian Congress. You know that it is always a pleasure for us to see you gathered round us here at the home of the Vicar of Christ. 

You have come here from many regions under the beautiful, blue Italian sky to beseech the blessing of your common Father - on you and your deliberations. We shall gladly give it to you.  May this Blessing be a sign and source of strength for a threefold solemn promise of fidelity, with which you are closing your Roman Congress: a promise of fidelity to God, to the Church and to your Patria. 

Be faithful to God! In these dark times of spiritual and moral degradation, you must first of all prostrate yourself everyday before Our Almighty Creator and Lord, in humilty and prayer, and conscientiously fulfill your religious duties. Have the courage to refuse support and collaboration where the laws of God, sound principles and human dignity are despised and trampled upon.  You will see how fidelity to God will render you candid in your proceedings, fearless in the face of dangers, immovable when confronted with threats, strong in suffering, unsurpassable in the fight to defend justice and undeterred in not succumbing to enticements in private and public life, to ruses and fads, which a Catholic of sound faith cannot assent to. Rather, you can and must be the incentive permeating the great mass of workers, transforming and vivifying them in keeping with Christian thought and virtue. 

Be faithful to the Church! She does not deceive nor dash the hopes and  expectations of the people. Does this statement apply also to the terrible period, just ended, of the last World War and this tormented post-war period?  How many falsehoods have been disseminated - and are still being disseminated - against the Church and the Pope, especially among the working classes! But now that the publications and revelations of the last seven years have followed one another at an increasing rate - have they not - perhaps unintentionally - disproved the monstrous calumnies and rendered full justice to the action of the Papacy?  Has this Apostolic See not shown conduct that is always constant, coherent and linear? And this conduct presents as its  recognised principal  characteristics, six aims and goals towards which it has directed all its efforts - at times, even against all hope: to prevent war; to shorten war; to keep nations away from war - like Italy which at first had remained immune to it; to save people from slaughter and suffering, and cities from destruction; to alleviate the disastrous consequences of the atrocious conflict- especially hatred and all discord,  with the maximum of charitable assistance; to promote and elevate the spiritual and material conditions of working people.  

No.  The Church does not deceive nor dash the hopes and expectations of the people. She has proclaimed and made widespread Her social message, not to obtain fleeting advantages, but to fulfill with great foresight Christ's precept in the interests of all peoples. The past has justified the social program of the Church, and the future will  give witness anew to the truth and justice upon which She is solidly established. 

  Pope Pius XII with the men participants at the first congress for Italian Catholic workers, 1946

Be faithful to your Patria!  Italy at this critical time is like a ship that has been battered by a storm; but even if it has failed in its economy, even if it is wounded in its living flesh, - it is - despite all this - proud of the priceless treasures not yet lost and which it defends with indomitable energy. At such a time, only one thing is necessary: that everyone do his duty and that all have a common purpose, mutually helping one another.  Unite, beloved sons and daughters, against all that is crass selfishness, public disorder, violence and the propaganda of hate. Your country needs the cooperaton of those who are good, honest, willing and capable, even if threy are from different political spheres; [your country] needs tireless work, the fruit of self-denial, patience and tenacious constancy. This is what Italy expects of you and which you must be proud to give your country - as good citizens and exemplary Catholics. 

Whereby the Lord  with His grace, may render your will and actions abundantly fruitful, We invoke on you beloved sons and daughters, the most choice blessings of Heaven, on your work colleagues, on your organizations, on your families and on all the people who are dear to you.   

Discorsi e Radiomessaggi di Sua Santità Pio XII, VIII,
 In the eighth  year of  his Pontificate, March, 2, 1946 – Mar 1, 1947, pp. 251-253

Ai partecipanti al primo Congresso Nazionale delle Associazioni cristiane dei Lavoratori Italiani - A.C.L.I. (29 settembre 1946) | PIO XII (

H/T - Il Nuovo Arengario  Abbiate il coraggio di non dare la vostra adesione e la vostra collaborazione là dove si disprezzano e si conculcano le leggi di Dio, i sani principi, la dignità umana. – Magistero del Venerabile Papa Pio XII – Il Nuovo Arengario


Translation (First time translated - no English version on the Vatican site)  ) - Contributor Francesca Romana