On the Month of Mary

Quamvis Plane

Pope Pius XII
Letter of April 20, 1941 to Cardinal Maglione

WHILE We are fully confident that the faithful, and especially the children, under the guidance of their parents, will be mindful of Our invitation of last year and will gather before the shrines of the most blessed Virgin Mother of God during the coming month of May to implore peace for anguished and afflicted humanity, We desire, above all, by means of this Letter addressed to you, to repeat that exhortation to all as the bitterness of war increasingly distresses and crushes the hearts of men.

And, as the dangers of every sort which threaten so many nations become ever more appalling, We confidently express the wish that the faithful raise their minds and hearts in prayer to heaven, whence alone, in the midst of such profound mental perplexity and material disorder, can come the hope of a better day


If Our prayers and aspirations have not as yet had the result which We ardently desired, our trust in God must not be lessened on this account but we must all continue, with constant and persevering devotion, to be patient in tribulation, instant in prayer. (Rom. 12:12) The designs of God are hidden from us, but we are certain that, although innumerable and grave offenses call down the avenging justice of heaven, the Lord is, nevertheless, the Father of mercies, and the God of all consolation. (2 Cor. 1:3) And we know that His love and benevolence for us is boundless.


But there is still another reason for our trust and hope, for we have at the throne of Almighty God the most beloved Mother of God and our Mother, who, through her all-powerful intercession, can certainly obtain for us all favors that she asks of Him.

Let us, then, place ourselves and our problems under her protection that she may make our prayers and aspirations her own and enhance the value of the works of expiation and charity which we must offer in generous measure to satisfy the Divine Majesty. May she dry all our tears, strengthen us in all our sufferings, console us in all our sorrows, and, in lightening these afflictions, enable us with the hope of eternal reward to bear them more easily.


If in calling to mind our sinfulness we feel ourselves to be unworthy of her maternal affection, let us lead our children in ever increasing numbers to her sacred shrines, especially during the coming month of May, that they may plead our cause-those little ones with innocent souls and lips unstained, who in their limpid eyes seem to mirror and reflect something of the splendor of heaven.

United with us in prayer, let them petition that wherever covetous greed now holds sway, there may the reign of love soon prevail; that where now the spirit of reprisal persists, forgiveness may be exercised so that instead of discord among men, there may be substituted the loving harmony which reconciles and unites them; and, finally, that where now deep enmities are aroused unhappily provoking widespread disorder there may be effected new ties of friendship which will calm the hearts of men and bring to the universe the tranquillity of an order founded on justice.


Let these little ones implore of the most beloved Mother of God heavenly comforts for all those who are suffering, and particularly for the exiled, for refugees, for prisoners, and for the wounded in hospitals. Let them ask of her perseveringly with their innocent voices that the duration of this awful misfortune be brief, so that we who by our actions deserve punishment may be relieved by the consoling help of divine grace. (Roman Breviary, Dom. 4 in Quadr.)

And thus, may there soon return to the earth the resplendent rays of a universal, substantial, and lasting peace which, in order to conform to the inviolable demands of justice and charity, will not conceal the germs of discord and rancor or embody causes of future wars; but which by effecting a fraternal and harmonious union of nations bound together in friendship and by helping all peoples to enjoy the fruits of their labor in tranquil freedom, will accompany and lead them with hope and confidence along the path of their earthly pilgrimage toward their heavenly fatherland. . . .

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