Pope Blesses 4000 American GIs

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The things you can find on Youtube!  Pope Pius XII blesses 4000 American soldiers after the liberation of Rome in 1944.  Here is what the Pope said:

It is a real joy for us to welcome you all here to the very own house of the Eternal Father of the Christians. You know very well you have experience now of the dangers and uncertainties of life in the midst of war. Make one thing certain, that you always keep close to God.

Pope Pius was quite popular among servicemen with huge numbers flocking to the Vatican to receive his blessing:  Catholics, Protestants and Jews.  Many soldiers wrote that it was a highlight of their service in Europe, and more than a few converted as a result.  The Pope had a special fondness for those in the military who were risking their lives, and he made himself availabe in frequent audiences for them.   Pius was grateful for the liberation of Rome, as he indicated to General Mark Clark when he first met the Pope.

“A few days after the liberation of Rome, Lieutenant General Mark Clark, Commander of the Fifth Allied Army, paid his respects to the Pope: “I am afraid you have been disturbed by the noise of my tanks. I am sorry.” Pius XII smiled and replied: “General, any time you come to liberate Rome, you can make just as much noise as you like.”

5 Responses to Pope Blesses 4000 American GIs

  • T. Shaw says:

    My great uncle, Tom (RIP), was there. He was a tanker with Patton in North Africa and Sicily; and, was still in the fight at the end of the war in the Po Valley on VE Day.

    These men, the”greatest generation”, were giants. I recall reading the Iliad and its numerous references to Achaian heroes that preceded Achilles, Ajax, Diomedes, etc.

  • ioannes says:

    Wow this is a very nice post, thank you. Can any one be kind enough to share their opinion as to how in the world children of such a great generation grow up to lead the cultural revolution of the 60s-70s? This has always fascinated me…

  • WK Aiken says:

    That generation also lived through a great depression. That it was caused by government malfeasance was not obvious, since media and general communications were still primitive. Because of this, many of that generation including my father swore that their children would never live through anything resembling it again and took what they believed to be proper measures to ensure their wishes.

    They had no idea they would actually be pushing something much worse onto their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I believe they’d have taken a different tack had there been any precscience of this at all.

  • ioannes says:

    I see, very interesting, thank you for sharing. It seems that the greatest generation stared evil straight in the face, while their offspring didn’t and that precluded their offspring from understanding their parents conservative behavior (conservative in the sense that values and morals should be conserved). For example; I’ve seen that people who go to abortion mills and witness the attacks of the spirit against God firsthand start appreciating these eternal values written into our hearts by God. I know it happened to me…

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