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Saturday, 20 July 1946


Welcome visitors indeed to Our Vatican City State are you, Gentlemen who seek to learn how you may best be of assistance to those whom the ravages of war have thrown on the mercifulness of their fellow-men.

In this ministry of helpfulness our blessed Lord is our Inspiration and our Guide. How He spent Himself in doing good! With what detail He enumerates and how graciously He regards as done to Himself, corporal works of mercy done to the least of humankind (cfr. Matth. 25, 35 sqq.). How rich the promised reward! His life was a succession of good deeds. His death the greatest of these.

Yet He necessarily proclaimed the needs of the soul to be greater than those of the body.

Truly piteous is the physical condition of multitudes today, more piteous by far, the spiritual. Thousands crave the consolations of religion and in many lands find it difficult to secure them. Most piteous of all are children, who if deprived of instruction in their faith will be stunted in their moral growth and warped in their spiritual outlook. No education is really such if it omits religion; no training is complete which does not develop the whole man. The child of today is the citizen of tomorrow.

While you give thought therefore to material rehabilitation, and laudably so, set your hand and your hearts definitely to secure this more necessary spiritual reconstruction. Then you will have wisely built for the future and upon firm foundations.

There is a good God in Heaven, Gentlemen, who regards your kindly deeds with favor. May He bless you and all whom you treasure. May He above all bring your generous efforts to full fruition

*Discorsi e Radiomessaggi di Sua Santità Pio XII, VIII,
 Ottavo anno di Pontificato, 2 marzo 1946 - 1° marzo 1947, p.185
 Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana.

L’Osservatore Romano, 21.7.1949, p.1.


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