AD BEATISSIMI APOSTOLORUM PDF

We make no secret, Venerable Brethren, that the first sentiment we felt in our heart, prompted certainly by the goodness of God, was the inexpressible yearning of a loving desire for the salvation of all mankind, and in assuming the Pontificate our sincere wish was that of Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, when about to die on the Cross: "Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, whom Thou hast given me" John xvii. But as soon as we were able from the height of Apostolic dignity to survey at a glance the course of human affairs, our eyes were met by the sad conditions of human society, and we could not but be filled with bitter sorrow. For what could prevent the soul of the common Father of all being most deeply distressed by the spectacle presented by Europe, nay, by the whole world, perhaps the saddest and most mournful spectacle of which there is any record. Certainly those days would seem to have come upon us of which Christ Our Lord foretold: "You shall hear of wars and rumours of wars-for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom" Matt. On every side the dread phantom of war holds sway: there is scarce room for another thought in the minds of men.

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We make no secret, Venerable Brethren, that the first sentiment we felt in our heart, prompted certainly by the goodness of God, was the inexpressible yearning of a loving desire for the salvation of all mankind, and in assuming the Pontificate our sincere wish was that of Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, when about to die on the Cross: "Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, whom Thou hast given me" John xvii.

But as soon as we were able from the height of Apostolic dignity to survey at a glance the course of human affairs, our eyes were met by the sad conditions of human society, and we could not but be filled with bitter sorrow. For what could prevent the soul of the common Father of all being most deeply distressed by the spectacle presented by Europe, nay, by the whole world, perhaps the saddest and most mournful spectacle of which there is any record. Certainly those days would seem to have come upon us of which Christ Our Lord foretold: "You shall hear of wars and rumours of wars-for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom" Matt.

On every side the dread phantom of war holds sway: there is scarce room for another thought in the minds of men. The combatants are the greatest and wealthiest nations of the earth; what wonder, then, if, well provided with the most awful weapons modern military science has devised, they strive to destroy one another with refinements of horror.

There is no limit to the measure of ruin and of slaughter; day by day the earth is drenched with newly-shed blood, and is covered with the bodies of the wounded and of the slain. Who would imagine as we see them thus filled with hatred of one another, that they are all of one common stock, all of the same nature, all members of the same human society?

Who would recognize brothers, whose Father is in Heaven? Yet, while with numberless troops the furious battle is engaged, the sad cohorts of war, sorrow and distress swoop down upon every city and every home; day by day the mighty number of widows and orphans increases, and with the interruption of communications, trade is at a standstill; agriculture is abandoned; the arts are reduced to inactivity; the wealthy are in difficulties; the poor are reduced to abject misery; all are in distress.

Moved by these great evils, we thought it our duty, at the very outset of our Supreme Pontificate, to recall the last words of our Predecessor of illustrious and holy memory, and by repeating them once more to begin our own Apostolic Ministry; and we implored Kings and rulers to consider the floods of tears and of blood already poured out, and to hasten to restore to the nations the blessings of peace.

God grant by His mercy and blessing, that the glad tidings the Angels brought at the birth of the divine Redeemer of mankind may soon echo forth as we His Vicar enter upon His Work: "on earth peace to men of good will" Luke ii. We implore those in whose hands are placed the fortunes of nations to hearken to Our voice. Surely there are other ways and means whereby violated rights can be rectified.

Let them be tried honestly and with good will, and let arms meanwhile be laid aside. It is impelled with love of them and of all mankind, without any personal interest whatever, that We utter these words. Let them not allow these words of a friend and of a father to be uttered in vain. But it is not the present sanguinary strife alone that distresses the nations and fills Us with anxiety and care.

There is another evil raging in the very inmost heart of human society, a source of dread to all who really think, inasmuch as it has already brought, and will bring, many misfortunes upon nations, and may rightly be considered to be the root cause of the present awful war. For ever since the precepts and practices of Christian wisdom ceased to be observed in the ruling of states, it followed that, as they contained the peace and stability of institutions, the very foundations of states necessarily began to be shaken.

Such, moreover, has been the change in the ideas and the morals of men, that unless God comes soon to our help, the end of civilization would seem to be at hand. Thus we see the absence from the relation of men of mutual love with their fellow men; the authority of rulers is held in contempt; injustice reigns in relations between the.

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Venerable Brethren, Greeting and Apostolic Benediction. Raised by the inscrutable counsel of Divine Providence without any merit of our own to the Chair of the Prince of the Apostles, we hearkened to those words of Christ Our Lord addressed to Peter, "Feed my lambs, feed my sheep" John xxii. For the whole of mankind was freed from the slavery of sin by the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ as their ransom, and there is no one who is excluded from the benefit of this Redemption: hence the Divine Pastor has one part of the human race already happily sheltered within the fold, the others He declares He will lovingly urge to enter therein: "and other sheep I have, that are not of this fold; them also must I bring, and they shall hear my voice" John x. We make no secret, Venerable Brethren, that the first sentiment we felt in our heart, prompted certainly by the goodness of God, was the inexpressible yearning of a loving desire for the salvation of all mankind, and in assuming the Pontificate our sincere wish was that of Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, when about to die on the Cross: "Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, whom Thou hast given me" John xvii. But as soon as we were able from the height of Apostolic dignity to survey at a glance the course of human affairs, our eyes were met by the sad conditions of human society, and we could not but be filled with bitter sorrow. For what could prevent the soul of the common Father of all being most deeply distressed by the spectacle presented by Europe, nay, by the whole world, perhaps the saddest and most mournful spectacle of which there is any record. Certainly those days would seem to have come upon us of which Christ Our Lord foretold: "You shall hear of wars and rumours of wars - for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom" Matt.

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