Thursday, 1 February 2007

The Last Days of Pius XII

Following on from the recent 'Papal Footage' post, here's a film I've just discovered on the last days of Pius XII. The subtitled translation is nonsensical and the choice of music terrible - but it's worth persevering because the footage is amazing. I particularly liked Papa Pacelli rehearsing a speech in front of the cameras (he rivals Fulton Sheen in his melodramatic delivery) and the shot of one of his last appearances at Castel Gandolfo, where he gets rather confused welcoming a college group from Sidcup! There are also pictures of the mother, brothers and murderer of St Maria Goretti.

If this leaves you hungry for more Pacelli footage, here is a poor quality - but interesting - glimpse of his Coronation in 1939 (probably worth turning the sound down, if only because of the Sistine screamers!):



Blogger elena maria vidal said...

Really inspiring! What a great Pope!

1:34 am  
Anonymous Ken said...

Thank you very much for posting these.

1:24 pm  
Blogger Jacob said...

That first one was really great. Pius XII's reputation today would probably be a lot greater if films like that first one were more widely disseminated. It does a lot to humanize the man.

2:33 pm  
Blogger Emitte said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again - 'Oh Mother, I could weep for joy!'. Many thanks Father, in case you were unaware, I posted a link on my blog to another film, stay tuned!

2:55 pm  
Blogger John Paul said...

Wow... Absolutely wonderful

3:15 pm  
Blogger John Paul said...

Wow... Absolutely wonderful

3:15 pm  
Blogger Ttony said...

Thank you for this. I wish I could be as enthusiastic as previous commentators, but the theatricality left me very cold.

8:31 pm  
Blogger humboldt said...

To me Pius XII was the greatest pope of the WHOLE XXth century. His ability to safeguard the faith and customs of the church and to face the antichrist of Nazi Germany, speaks volumes of his saintity. He was truly a beacon of light among the dark night of totalitarianism in Europe. I thank God everyday for the gift he gave his church on the person of Pius XII. I hope one day to pilgrim to the Vatican just to visit the grave of this true saint, and to thank God, in the tomb of Saint Peter, for this gift to his children.

te Dominum confitemur.
Te aeternum Patrem
omnis terra veneratur.
Tibi omnes Angeli;
tibi caeli et universae Potestates;
Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim
incessabili voce proclamant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus
Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra maiestatis gloriae tuae.
Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus, Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus, Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.
Te per orbem terrarum
sancta confitetur Ecclesia,
Patrem immensae maiestatis:
Venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum. Tu Rex gloriae, Christe. Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius. Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem, non horruisti Virginis uterum.
Tu, devicto mortis aculeo, aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum. Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.
Iudex crederis esse venturus. Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni: quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.

V. Salvum fac populum tuum, Domine, et benedic hereditati tuae.
R. Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in aeternum. V. Per singulos dies benedicimus te.
R. Et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi. V. Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire.
R. Miserere nostri, Domine, miserere nostri.
V. Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos, quedammodum speravimus in te.
R. In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum. AMEN.

1:35 am  
Anonymous Veronica said...

Fr Nicholas, I was deeply moved by this clip on the last days of Pope Pius XII. I loved him then, I love him now and frequently I seek his intercession. It brought them back to me vividly as I was eighteen when he died and I recall the impact of his death throughout Europe, especially among Catholics in this country. The sense of loss was palpable. It also powerfully reminded me of the Church as it was then, the Church in which I was brought up. I have often been saddened by the changes in the Church and the world since Pope Pius's death but, after watching this twice, I was surprised by a reaction I did not believe was possible. When I saw the elaborate ceremonial of the papal court, the Pope's stylised gestures, the amazing panoply of his funeral and lying in state, I realised that, beautiful though they were, it was inevitable that it had to come to an end. Nothing could have stood in the way of world developments since then and if the Church had retained its pre-concilear style it would now be so anachronistic as to be risible. These were the polished conventions of a Renaissance court. I never believed I would ever come to think this. Though we have lost much that should not have been abandoned, the present style and virility of papal ceremonies speaks to our times in a way that the magnificence of the past could not. Take Pope John Paul II's funeral, for instance, and the inauguration of the Holy Father. It makes me grateful that I saw the end of that era and I feel more reconciled to what we have now. There is so much that is good about the Church today, despite the tragic decline of faith. We live in entirely different, if confusing, times. I appreciate that this will not accord with the views of many of your readers but I had to thank you for making the video available.

8:49 pm  
Blogger Fr Nicholas said...

Thanks, Veronica. I agree with you that Pius XII's stylised gestures are rather hard to watch (especially for those from an Anglo-Saxon culture). And, so used are we to the modern style of papal liturgy, it's hard to imagine what it would be like if Pope Benedict was regularly carried through St Peter's in a sedia gestatoria, surrounded by papal chamberlains, Palatine Guards, et al.

If these had continued, I'm sure minor changes would have been made - but I'm not so sure that it would make the Church look so ridiculous. Think of how tourists and pilgrims are still fascinated by the little that is left from the old Papal Guard - I think of the Swiss Guard in particular. And also, looking at our own British Monarchy, how the seemingly outdated ritual (much of which in its modern form, admittedly, was the creation of the Victorian era) still continues to impress and inspire.

I'm glad you enjoyed the video.

11:33 pm  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Fr. Schofield, thank you for posting this wonderful footage! I am working on a film project and am interested in licensing about 15 seconds of the footage of the funeral of Pope Pius XII. I see the Rai Tre logo on the uploaded video -- will you please send me any other information you have on the film? I would deeply appreciate your help. Please feel to post (I will check here), or to email me directly at Thank you!

6:18 pm  
Blogger Aaron said...

God bless you all for your praise of one of our greatest Holy Fathers in the past 100 years.

Please forgive me for changing the scene; however, I choreograph shows for local high schools and heard some phenomenal music on a youtube video of Pius XII and wonder if any of you know the name of it so I can use it in an up-coming show that I hope to write for an Indianapolis show.

Here is the link to the clip of funeral of His Holiness Pope Pius XII of which I speak:

12:42 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home

<< # St. Blog's Parish ? >>