be ready to give even life for your country —POPE PIUS XII
By MGR. ENRICO PUCCI
Pope Pius addressed the pilgrims for forty-five minutes, and was frequently interrupted by prolonged applause. The discourse was exclusively religious in character, and contained only one passage directly referring to present conditions. This was when he told his hearers that members of Catholic Action must render obedience to duly-constituted authority.
" In this way." His Holiness added, " members of Catholic Action—which is not, and never will be, a political organisation. but a chosen band showing good example and manifesting religious fervour
demonstrate that they are not only the most fervent Christians, but also perfect citizens, not extraneous to the high obligations of a national and social character, but loving their country and ready to give even life for it every time the legitimate welfare of the country requires this supreme sacrifice."
This passage of the Holy Father's remarks was greeted with the most prolonged applause.
DUTIES TO EARTHLY COUNTRY In recalling one's duties towards his earthly country, Pope Pius emphasised the fact that our supreme aspiration must be for our heavenly country, saying that only in this aspiration can be found reef peace of heart. From this conviction, the Pope added, rises the desire and zeal for the Apostolate, zeal that illumines and teaches Catholic Action, rendering it deserving of the Church and civil society.
In this hour so grave and when so much anguisn presses his heart, he is comforted by thinking of Catholic Action and the good it can accomplish, the Pope said. Catholic Action will respond to the hopes of the Church, the Sovereign Pontiff added, if it observes the duties of a quadruple union, with the Pope, the Bishop, the civil authorities, and among themselves.
After outlining these premises, Pope Pius fervently urged his hearers to go
forth to all people, to the humble, to youths, to adults. to the world and to rake with them the zeal of their Apostolate. In inviting the members of Catholic Action to go forward to youths, Pope Pius recalled that in Italy, " the wisdom of those governing recognised religious teaching in elementary and secondary schools is the foundation ana crown of public education."
The speech, of which the Vatican Radio made several reports in various languages, was considered one of the most important the Pope has made. This report of it reaches us via New York Air Mail.