ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS PIUS XII
TO SOME REPRESENTATIVES AT THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS*
Saturday, 22 October 1949
When but a few weeks ago We received a group of your honourable colleagues of the House of Representatives, We gave renewed expression to Our deep and-constant concern for the pitiful plight of vast populations that the ruthless tide of war and war's heartless aftermath has uprooted and left scattered on the continents of Europe and Asia, where the future holds out to them such a drab, uncertain, disheartening existence. For the little ones especially, innocent, a generation's hope, every human heart must bleed.
Your Select Commitee, We have been told, is also particularly interested in the problem presented by these afflicted members of the world family, whose human dignity and human rights have not been one whit lessened for all their misery and misfortune. American generosity has made bounteous contributions to various international organs of relief. You do well to examine with what success this relief has been and is being brought to those who are really most in need.
But We dare say the further question has risen more than once in your minds, if not to your lips: is the present immigration policy as liberal as the natural resources permit in a country so lavishly blessed by the Creator and as the challenging needs of other countries would seem to demand? Your travels no doubt will afford much data for the answer to that question.
The task of attempting to bring peace and decent prosperity to the stricken peoples of the world is a gigantic one; but let all who are working so unselfishly towards that goal remember, the divine Master has said: "If a man gives so much as a drink of cold water to one of the least of these... he shall not miss his reward" (Matth. 10, 42). "When you did it to one of the least of my brethren here, you did it to me " (Matth. 25, 40).
We pray and feel confident that under His inspiration and with His help the efforts being put forth today by so many men, whose hearts are filled with human sympathy and human love, will bear increasing fruit.
It has been a pleasure to receive you, gentlemen; and We pray heaven's choicest blessings on you and all your dear ones.
*Discorsi e Radiomessaggi di Sua Santità Pio XII, XI,
Undecimo anno di Pontificato, 2 marzo 1949 - 1° marzo 1950, pp. 243 - 244
Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana.
L’Osservatore Romano 23.10.1949, p.1.
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