ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS PIUS XII
TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA*
Sunday, 23 September 1956
Many are the ties, Mr. President, serving to link Us, in esteem and affection, with your brave, resourceful people of Liberia. May We not look upon Your Excellency's most welcome visit to the Apostolic See as a heartening sign that these feelings continue to be mutual?
Your distinguished public career, Mr. President, first as a jurist in the administration of a young Republic's sovereign law, and lately as a statesman thrice elected by a free, industrious and peace-loving nation to the highest office available, will have fortified over the years, We doubt not, the persuasion that the blessings of the Christian faith and brotherly understanding among the races of men are the indispensable condition and the surest presage of prosperity in peace at home and abroad.
Family, Church and State, those potent pillars of human society and of its varied cultures, in your native Africa and in every other clime as well, owe their institution, as they must owe their stability, to the creative power and sustaining mercy of God. Well have you had occasion to realize, from your earliest political beginnings on the sunny shores of the South Atlantic, the truth of the Master's warning that any other foundation is bat so much sand to build upon! (cfr. Matth. 7, 24-27). Well may the teachers and children in your flourishing schools learn and take to heart this sobering lesson, against the day when the enemy of all that is God or of God may attempt to subvert the homeland their fathers have reared so patiently on spiritual values with His aid!
We need not reiterate the assurance that, tomorrow as today, Our loyal Liberian sons and daughters, with their devoted missioners, will be second to none in making use of their civic freedom to serve, and if necessary to defend, their country's abiding interest in social justice and amity. In a spiritually undernourished world their faith, as well as their patriotism, will keep them ever mindful that these and the other Christian virtues, cultivated to the farthest reaches of your teeming forests and rich mines, must become and remain your most prized national commodity, over and above those products of Liberian industry and handicraft, of which you have such reason to be proud.
This is Our prayer to Almighty God, these are Our cordial hopes, Mr. President, as We invoke the Divine guidance for the labours of your exalted office, and abundance of heavenly graces on your family and the illustrious members of your suite here present, your Government and cherished people.
*Discorsi e Radiomessaggi di Sua Santità Pio XII, XVIII,
Diciottesimo anno di Pontificato, 2 marzo 1956 - 1° marzo 1957, pp. 483 - 484
Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana.
AAS 48 (1956), p.725-726.
L’Osservatore Romano 24-25.9.1956, p.1.
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