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Monday, 22 October 1945



We recall with pleasure the visit which your Director General, Mr. Lehman, paid us several months ago; and it is no less a joy for us now to say a word of welcome to his able and devoted colleagues. We have followed the activities of your admirable association with very great interest and high hopes. It is a beautiful thing, is it not, to contemplate nations, which differ from each other in many respects, united in a work of brotherly love, pooling resources so as to bring relief and succour to the victims of heartless war. Your enterprise is the more admirable for its vastness and all-embracing charity. Difference of race or colour or political belief do not obscure the guiding truth that shows up all as members of one grand family under God.

But for all the noble beauty of your undertaking, it has its prosaic side, too, with many annoying problems. The best of human endeavours will meet with obstacles and in more ways than one will fall short of the ideal proposed, of the hopes conceived. We know it well. At all times, but especially when the desolation consequent on war or natural catastrophes overwhelms peoples, we ourselves are literally assailed, as we are today, by thousands of piteous pleas for help; and few suspect how deeply our paternal heart suffers for our inability to alleviate all the sufferings and sorrows of men as we would wish. It is only right that they should expect assistance from the common Father of all. But our resources are so limited; with all our efforts we feel how little is accomplished in comparison with the enormous needs. You may draw on an immensely larger and deeper source; yet even that source is limited, and at times perhaps leaves you empty-handed in the presence of hungry children. This is an added stimulus for all to re-dedicate themselves to a task that is deserving of all that is best in human nature; and the Lord of heaven and earth will bless them for what they have done to the least of His brethren, whom He loves with an eternal love. May His choicest favours descend upon all the nations whose generosity has made your association possible. For yourselves in particular, and for all your dear ones at home, we pray God’s abiding blessing.

*Discorsi e radiomessaggi, vol. VII p.243-244.

L’Osservatore Romano 24.10.1945, p.1.

Paths to Peace, p.448.


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