Tag: pope pius XII

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On today’s Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary*, one recalls the brilliant prophetic document Ingruentium Malorum given to us by Venerable Pius XII. As Joseph Pronechen writes, “one of the greatest Marian popes of all time speaking of calamities and family unraveling showed in a simple, powerful way the only answer for our cataclysmic time”: […]

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“His Holiness Will Receive You in a Few Moments. I Could Have Dropped Dead!”


One of the touchstones of my life has always been the story of how my dad met the Pope, in Rome, on June 5, 1944. Truth be told, my mother always pooh-poohed the whole thing a bit (not unusual for Mum to do something like that, especially for an event in which she wasn’t the main focus). And given Dad’s legendary story-telling abilities, we did sometimes wonder how much of it was really true, and whether he’d gilded the lily at any point.

Apparently, not.

I’ve told the following story on Ricochet before, more than half a decade ago. Many of you weren’t here, so perhaps those who were will forgive me if I repeat it. Those of you who liked it then, I hope you still do; those of you for whom it’s new, I hope you enjoy it, too. The accompanying black-and-white images (except for the one of Dad’s letter, which I took from my brother), are from contact prints of photos Dad himself took during the war. Apologies for the poor quality, but the initial prints are tiny (click to enlarge the images).