Thursday, October 13, 2016

Future Pope Visits SJS - Eighty Years Ago

Eighty years ago today, Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli visited the chapel of Saint John's Seminary in the company of Cardinal William J. O'Connell, then Archbishop of Boston.  A little less than three years later, Cardinal Pacelli would be elected Pope Pius XII.  Cardinal Pacelli is pictured above in an undated photograph, possibly taken during his visit to Boston with Cardinal O'Connell and then Bishop Spellman.

It is appropriate, therefore, to recall these words of Pope Pius XII, addressed to seminarians gathered in Saint Peter's Square just a few weeks after his election.

To keep up your courage and spiritual vigor, beloved sons, you should every day if possible imbibe from the bountiful springs of the sacred books, especially of the New Testament, the genuine spirit of Jesus Christ and the Apostles, who should ever shine forth in your souls, your words, and your works. Be tireless in work even during the vacation, so that your superiors may be able to say with confidence: "So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 5:16).

It is your divine calling to pave the way in men's souls for the love and grace of Jesus Christ. To do it you must yourselves first be enkindled with that love. And this you must do by union with Christ in prayer and sacrifice.

Union in prayer: indeed if you ask us what is our message to priests at the beginning of Our Pontificate, We answer: Pray! Pray more, and more earnestly!