REMARKS BY POPE PAUL VI
Saturday, 23 November 1963
We are deeply shocked by the sad and tragic news of the killing of the President of the United States of America, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and the serious wounding of Governor Connally; and We are profoundly saddened by so dastardly a crime, by the mourning which afflicts a great and civilized country in its head, by the suffering which strikes at Mrs Kennedy, the children and her family.
With all Our heart, We deplore this unhappy event. We express the heartfelt wish that the death of this great Statesman may not damage the cause of the American people, but rather reinforce its moral and civil sentiments, and strengthen its feeling of nobility and concord; and We pray to God that the sacrifice of John Kennedy may be made to favor the cause he promoted and to help defend the freedom of peoples and peace in the world.
He was the first Catholic President of the United States; We recall Our pleasure in receiving his visit and in having discerned in him great wisdom and high resolution for the good of humanity. Tomorrow, We shall offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that God may grant him eternal rest, that He may comfort and console all those who weep for him on his death, and in order that not hatred, but Christian love, should reign among all mankind.