Thursday, 2 February 2012

Pope Pius XII Addresses 8th Army Soldiers in 1944

One can sense the excitement and witness the reverence of these soldiers, who must have witnessed the horrors of war, as they receive an audience with His Holiness, Pope Pius XII.

And what joy as the soldiers burst into song (was it spontaneous or a pious plan?) and choose Faith of Our Fathers, which must rank as one of the most beautiful and militant Catholic hymns, bursting with history and sacrifice, tradition and humility.

What a joy to those soldiers to hear the Pope ask the intercession of so many English Saints who have gone before us, and gave their lives, for the sake of Holy Mother Church.

Not so long ago I was at the funeral of a brave soldier, whose medals bedecked his coffin, who was a loyal son of the Church. He had fought through Italy and more besides. It comforts me to know that even if he wasn't one of those brave souls to be granted an audience with the Pope, some of his compatriots were and that news must have filled him and many others with joy.


  1. Thanks very much for sharing this film which I found very moving. My own father(R.I.P.) was one of the liberators of Italy/"D-day Dodgers" and was very affected by his experience of Rome which I like to think contributed to his conversion and reception into the Church a few years later.

  2. Great post Gareth, very moving and also wonderful to see the Holy Father looking so energetic and capable.