Magisterium of Pius XII

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The Magisterium of Pope Pius XII, some 1600 mostly non-political speeches, messages, radio speeches, radio and television speeches, homilies, apostolic letters, and encyclicals of Pope Pius XII[1] has been largely neglected or even overlooked by his biographers, who center on his policies or Church policies.

The dates of the list may vary in accuracy. The list uses the official dates of the Discorsi and Acta Apostolicae Sedis, published by the Vatican. But not all speeches are included there. Some were published in the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, and those dates reflect the date of publication since the articles often did not indicate a different time. Therefore, there may be a difference of a day or two in some instances. The sources are listed below.

Of the 1600 papal addresses, this list includes the last fifty during the last five months of his pontificate. They also illustrate the papal work load, up to the very last days of his life. “He was the last Pope, who wrote most of his speeches alone” said Joseph Ratzinger.[2] Pius, who did not have a staff of speech writers or permanent assistants worked largely alone assisted only by occasional help and proof readers from professors of the Gregorian University. The amount and range of these fifty speeches within only 150 days, suggest a brutal work load of the Pontiff, which may have contributed to his death. His physician Professor Gasparini commented: "The Holy Father did not die because of any specific illness. He was completely exhausted. He was overworked beyond limit. His heart was healthy, his lungs were good. He could have lived another 20 years, had he spared himself."[3]


No. Description and Topic Destination Date Language
1. The power of social justice and Christianity Christian Unions of Italy May 1, 1958 Italian
2. Greetings and blessing German Catholic Association Rupert Mayer May 2, 1958 German
3. The temptations of materialism in advertising Italian workers from Naples May 4, 1958 Italian
4. Man in service of creation International commission for irrigation and soil improvement May 8, 1958 English
5. Medicine based on natural law British surgeons May 12, 1958
6. Christian optimism and the defense of human rights NATO Defence College May 16, 1958 English
7. Questions of military service and war Female employees of the Italian army May 21, 1958 Italian
8. Your apostolate: Ladies Guild of Santa Susanna Audience of American Women Association May 22, 1958 English
9. Religion, Science and true friendships German Catholic Student Associations, erlangen June 2, 1958 German
10. Ethics of the medical profession Spanish physicians June 8, 1958 Spanish
11. Modern family problems International meeting in Paris, France June 10, 1958 French
12. Ethics of journalism American Journalists June 12, 1958 English
13. Authentic Christian living increases priestly vocations 25. Anniversary of Colegio Pio in Brazil June 20, 1958 Portuguese
14. Ethical conflicts of Real Estate Agents Conference of Italian real estate agents June 22, 1958 Italian
15. The art of otolarynologists in light of Christian philosophy Congress of Otolarynologists June 29, 1958 French
16. The Church in China Encyclical, Ad Apostolorum Principis June 29, 1958 Latin, several languages
17. The role of women in public life Catholic Action, Italy July 2, 1958 Italian
18. Rome before and after Christianity Students from the USA July 3, 1958 English
19. Greetings and blessings Faithful and clergy of Madagascar July 5, 1958 French
20. Two ideals of Christian woman Female youth, Catholic Action, Italy July 13, 1958 Italian
21. The Church in its struggle for freedom Encyclical, Meminisse Juvat July 14, 1958 Latin, several languages
22. The Contemplative Life, Part One Radio audience for members of contemplative convents throughout the world July 19, 1958 French
23. The message of Lourdes to blue collar workers International pilgrimage of Catholic blue collar workers to Lourdes July 21, 1958 French
24. The Contemplative Life, Part Two Radio audience for members of contemplative convents throughout the World July 26, 1958 French
25. Problems and Ideals in the health sector International Catholic Health Conference, Brussels, Belgium July 27, 1958 French
26. The meaning of biblical studies International biblical congress, Brussels, Belgium July 28, 1958 French
27. The Contemplative Life, Part Three Radio audience for members of contemplative convents throughout the World August 2, 1958 French
28. Classical antiquity as an educational force for Christianity International Congress for Classical Archeology August 7, 1958 French
29. Christian academicians forming a Christian world? World Congress of Pax Romana in Vienna, Austria August 11, 1958 French
30. The family as center of sanctification Families from Spain August 12, 1958 Spanish
31. Purposes of the World Exhibition in Brussels Message to World Exhibition in Brussels August 15, 1958 French
32. The unity of life and religious life Exhortation to German Catholics meeting in Berlin August 17, 1958 German
33. The Third Order of St. Dominic Today International congress of The Third Order of St. Dominic August 20, 1958 French
34. The relevance of blood group genetics for society International Society for blood transfusions September 5, 1958 French
35. The importance of legal employees Third International Congress of Legal Employees September 8, 1958 French
36. Psychopharmaca and related treatments in light of Christian Morality Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psycho-Pharmacologicum, Rome September 9, 1958 French
37. Christian love a basis for organized aid Pilgrimage of Spanish insurance agents September 11, 1958 Spanish
38. Hereditary problems and Christian consicience International conference of haematology September 12, 1958 French
39. Purpose of Catholic schools General meeting of Catholic educators September 14, 1958 French
40. The message of the Virgin Mary today International Marian Congress, Lourdes September 17, 1958 French
41. Philosophy and Christian faith International Congress of Philosophy, Venice and Padova September 18, 1958 Italian
42. The wonderful world of bees, usefulness and value for human life International Congress of Bee Keepers September 22, 1958 French
43. The formation of Priests in our time Rectors of Latin American seminaries September 23, 1958 Spanish
44. The ideals of Christian life Eucharistic congress in Ecuador September 28, 1958 Spanish
45. Accident avoidance as a moral problem International Association of Natural Gas Industries September 28, 1958 French
46. Call for a renewal of Christian life Opening of the restored Cathedral in Reims, France September 29, 1958 Latin
47. Ethical considerations for book stores in train terminals Owners of train station book stores October 2, 1958 Italian
48. Thinking about our guardian angels in October American Pilgrims with Francis Cardinal Spellman October 3, 1958 English
49. Obligations of notaries in our time International Congress October 5, 1958 French
50. Problems and perspectives concerning plastic surgery Congress, Italian Society for Plastic Surgery October 4, 1958 Italian
Preparing yourself for the priesthood [4] Students of the theological seminary in Apulia, Italy Italian
The personality and magisterium of Pope Benedict XIV [5] 200. anniversary of the death of Pope Bendict XIV Italian

Sources[edit]

  • Acta Apostolicae Sedis. (AAS), Vatican City 1939-1958. Official documents of the Pontificate of Pope Pius XII
  • Pio XII, Discorsi e Radio Messaggi di Sua Santita Pio XII, Vatican City 1939-1958,Official speeches of Pius XII, 20 vol.
  • Pio XII, Discorsi Ai Medici collected byFiorenzo Angelini, Roma, 1959, 725 pages,
  • Soziale Summe Pius XII ed.A.F.Utz, J.F.Gröner, 4010 pages. in German, the non-theological teachings 1939-1958, 3 vol.
  • Pascalina Lehnert, Ich durfte Ihm Dienen, Erinnerungen an Papst Pius XII. Naumann, Würzburg, 1986

Quotes[edit]

  1. ^ Utz Gröner, 1954, 1961
  2. ^ October 8, 1992 interview with L`’Associazione Pio XII
  3. ^ Pascalina Lehnert, p.191
  4. ^ To be issued October 19, 1958, this message was read to the students as a testament of the late Pope
  5. ^ Pope Pius XII died October 9, 1958, before he could deliver this address.