Pope Blesses 4000 American GIs

 

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 Comments