Columns
from issue no.05 - 2006


The editor’s post bag


Refugees and fugitives from the SS, mostly women and children hidden in the papal apartment at Castel Gandolfo

Refugees and fugitives from the SS, mostly women and children hidden in the papal apartment at Castel Gandolfo

PIUS XII. THE POPE WHO SAVED THE JEWS
An appeal for new testimony to the Pope’s charity



Dear Reader,
we appeal to those who are acquainted with the tragedy of the Jews persecuted by the Nazi regime. All those who witnessed the Christian charity of Pius XII were struck by his efforts to save the victims. Thousands of letters were addressed to the Holy Father by families and their friends beseeching his help. But the story won’t be completed without your help, dear Reader.
Pope Pius XII, the defender of civilization even more than he was of the city of Rome, ordered shelter to be given to the persecuted in the Vatican and in the extra-territorial buildings, the papal apartments to be opened in order to save the greatest possible number of lives.
There are a great many Jews who owe the saving of their lives to Pope Pacelli, at least indirectly. Yet, unfortunately, there are not many people who escaped the Nazi fury of those terrible years who are willing to testify that their rescue was due precisely to the Pope. But how would it have been possible to get free access to the territory of the Vatican State, to the “Bambino Gesù” hospital, to the papal villa of Castel Gandolfo without an order or at least permission from the Pope? How would it have been possible, we may ask, to have access to the papal apartment, even to the Pope’s bedroom, transformed for the occasion into a maternity ward, according to the testimony of the administrator of the papal villas, without the Pope giving his permission? Finally, we would also like to say that it is equally improbable that anybody permitted themselves to ask the Pope: «Excuse me, Your Holiness, there’s this Jewish woman about to give birth, would you mind lending us your bedroom at Castel Gandolfo?».
Among the more than fifty children born in the Pope’s apartment, two male twins were called, by their mother’s wish, Pio Eugenio and Eugenio Pio, in gratitude to Pius XII. It is good sense, even before historical evidence, that demonstrates that the Pope did not restrict himself to allowing this immense rescue operation, but that it was precisely he who encouraged it and demanded it of his collaborators.
At Castel Gandolfo alone ten thousand people were given refuge who ate at least twice a day, who had to be treated, who needed to be looked after and protected. The numbers give, we believe, the exact measure of this work of charity.
The Vatican, in general, and the Pope were so altruistic in their activity that they kept no lists or files of all the people saved. It is for this reason that we turn to readers in the hope that they may want to share with us the precious information of people of the Jewish faith saved by the Vatican.
We have asked Yad Vashem in Israel for the memory of Pius XII to be honored by adding his name to the list of the “Righteous among the Gentiles”. To be successful we must have in writing the testimony of a person who knows that a Jew (known to the person testifying or the person who learned second-hand) was helped directly by the Pope.
For example, thanks to the personal interest of the Holy Father, a Jewish child and his mother fleeing from the Nazis were moved just in time to the “Bambino Gesù” hospital, which enjoyed the privilege of extra-territoriality. During the child’s stay, his father, lodged in the Vatican, came to visit him in a large black car with the number plate and the pennants of the Holy See, sent by the Pope himself.
In short, any testimony must be in writing and signed by a notary. Please send me it by e-mail: tertas@ virgilio.it or by fax: 06-636347 in Italy; or by e-mail: Sr.Margherita.Marchione@ ATT.NET or fax: 001-973-539-9327 in the United States.
Thank you for your attention and eventual replies.

Sister Margherita Marchione





BRAZIL
A journey of thirty days through the Church

Thursday 16 February 2006

Dear Senator Giulio Andreotti,
I have just received the November 2005 number of 30Dias [30Days in the Portuguese edition]. This number, like the previous ones, is excellent! It is a journey of thirty days through the Church and the world! I wish to thank you cordially for the very kind subscription that you sent me. After reading it, I put 30Dias in the library of the monastery in which I live with my Redemptorist brethren.
I accompany my thanks with my prayers for yourself and the great Catholic work you are engaged in. A strong embrace.

Monsignor José Rodrigues
de Souza C.SS.R., Bishop Emeritus of Juazeiro, Brazil



ITALy
Witness that has done me good

Wednesday 19 April 2006

Dear Editor and editorial staff,
For months, every time I open the magazine a question occurs to me: do I write or don’t I write?
The desire to tell you (you and everyone) of this great joy has so far been restrained by the reserve that certain “subjects” require.
Let me be brief: this is not a “letter from the monastery”, I am a young twenty-five year old close to graduation (in July), but if the desire that God has put in me of belonging to Him for ever, to Him and to mankind, is truly from Him… I shall soon be in the monastery.
The witness that you have published in these months has really done me good, I thank you.
I ask you to accompany me with prayer, in this very particular period, and in the time following, in discovering ever more the fullness of this life.
In Christ.

(Permit me to remain anonymous, apart from my spiritual father only a few friends know of this project,
and I don’t want to unleash strange reactions in anybody, especially in my parents, who, among other things, don’t share this joy with me)


PIUS XII

The fate of Pacelli and of Pope Luciani

Monday 1 May 2006

Dear Editor,
There is still debate about whether Pius XII, Supreme Pontiff from 3 March 1939 to 9 October 1958, deserves the canonical recognition of blessed and of saint or not, and this because of his alleged silence during the holocaust of the Jews perpetrated by the Nazis on Hitler’s orders during the Second World War.
Well, in his famous Christmas message of 1942, when he spoke of those killed «for no other reason than their race or ancestry», Pius XII was convinced he was denouncing the Nazi persecution in an unchallengeable way and he was embittered by the criticisms that accused him already then of having been too vague. Instead his denunciation hit the target, no less than the condemnation of the preceding Pontiff Pius XI, enraging the Nazi and Fascist hierarchies! «The Vicar of God should not open his mouth», thundered Mussolini! If instead one wants to think that Pope Pacelli had imposed prudence on himself, reflecting on the counterproductive effects that such resounding denunciations had had in the past, his prudence was also a moral virtue!
Pope Pacelli, denigrated by many as pro-Nazi, was in reality in the first months of the 1940’s engaged in a plot against Hitler planned by various German officers! (see Famiglia Cristiana of 27 May 1987).
Therefore when I think or I hear about the pontificate and the fate of Pope Pius XII, as also of the fate and incomprehensible death of the Pope of the smile, Albino Luciani, Supreme Pontiff for 33 days, from 26 August to 28 September 1978, I also remember these words from the Gospel: «Nuptiae paratae sunt, sed qui invitati erant non fuerunt digni» (Mt 22, 8).

Gugliemo De Sano,
parish priest of Piantoli and of Orchi, Conca della Campania, Caserta






Letters from the convents


Vietnamese children

Vietnamese children

Carmelites of the Convent of Notre-Dame
Binh Trieu, Vietnam

The fact that you remembered these Carmelites so far away in our little Vietnam moved us particularly

Binh Trieu, Friday 28 April 2006

Dear Senator,
It is with great joy and profound gratitude that we wish to send you our thanks for the free subscription to the magazine 30Jours dans l’Eglise et dans le monde [30Days in the French edition], which is very useful and appreciated.
The fact that you remembered these Carmelites so far away in our little Vietnam moved us particularly.
Thanks to this magazine, we can participate in the activity of the Church and of the entire world and we can better understand our Mother Church, our Pope, our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We will pray that your work will always be fruitful.

Sister Maria Teresa Consolata of the Holy Spirit O.C.D., Prioress



CARMELITES OF THE CONVENT OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY
Coronel Fabriciano, Minas Gerais, Brazil

May the peace and the joy of the Lord Jesus be in your heart

Coronel Fabriciano, Thursday 2 March 2006

Dear Mister Giulio Andreotti,
May the peace and the joy of the Lord Jesus be in your heart!
I was pleased to receive the precious gift of the magazine 30Dias [30Days in the Portuguese edition] and, with this letter, I wish to thank you for your kindness to us. «Hidden with Christ in God», we have the certainty that because of the grace and mercy of the Lord our convents are a center radiating spirituality and well-being for the Church and all mankind. «A person, presenting herself to God as His absolute property, becomes a gift of God for all, so that her life is truly a gift that places her at the center of the mystery of ecclesial communion. The contemplatives because of their discreet but vital presence, because of their silent witness, constitute a summons to prayer and to the truth of the existence of God» (Verbi sponsa n.8).
«In the Carmel, the good God is met everywhere. We live Him, we breathe Him» to bring Him to all, as the blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, a French Carmelite, tells us, the hundredth anniversary of whose death we are celebrating.
Very dear Sir, the 19 March next our Carmel will complete the sixth year from its foundation in this diocese of Itabira-Fabriciano. We live in a temporary center and last year we began the construction of our definitive location. Since it has been difficult to find the financial resources to construct this house of the Lord’s and ours, I also present you with our request for help so that it may be published, if you consider it proper, in the magazine, with the photo of our community. The good God may touch generous hearts who can make a contribution. Eventual donations may be forwarded to the account of the Carmelo SantÍssima Trindade e Beata Elisabeth da Trindade – current account 7786-0 – agency 0365-4 of the Banco do Brasil. May God reward you.
We pray for your intentions, for those of your family, of your collaborators and for the success of this magazine, so that you may achieve and fulfill your aims. May God bless and crown you with His divine gifts.
With esteem and gratitude, for the community,

Sister Maria Teresina of the Child Jesus O.C.D.,
Prioress


CARMELITES OF THE CONVENT OF SAINT CURÉ D’ ARS
Ars, France

Only through silence and prayer can we truly be of help

Ars, Friday 24 March 2006

Dear Mister Andreotti,
We have received the lovely issue of 30Jours [30Days in the French edition] and the letter attached. We are very struck by it and thank you.
You ask us in return to pray for you and we do so heartily, asking the Lord to bless your doings and support your commitment so that it may remain fully evangelical and fully ecclesial.
For our part, we request you to dispense us from any other kind of witness (or “collaboration”) that is not our silence or our prayer. It is only thus that we can truly be of help and be for the Church and the world genuinely fruitful.
Be assured of our prayer and our daily offering for your intentions and allow us also to entrust ourselves to your prayer, so that we are both, in our respective vocations, the saints that the Lord calls us to be.
Please accept, dear sir, our best wishes.

Sister Teresa of the Incarnation O.C.D.,
Prioress


benedictines OF THE ROYAL CONVENT OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST
Valfermoso de las Monjas, Spain

May the Lord keep you most faithful to Christian principles

Valfermoso de las Monjas, Saturday 25 March 2006

Dear Director Andreotti,
In the recent editions of the magazine 30Dias [30Days in the Spanish edition] we saw with great pleasure the section “Letters form the Convents”. It delights our hearts to see so many contemplative sisters who think as we do, despite the distance. We maintain that if we all unite our prayers, the Lord will hear them and the world will change.
From Spain, more precisely from Valfermoso de las Monjas (Guadalajara), we send you an affectionate greeting and our congratulations for the magazine directed by you. We have received it in our community since it was founded 23 years ago. It is very interesting. It keeps us informed about the situation of the Church both inside and outside Europe.
The Christian decadence in Europe saddens us greatly, but we confide fully in the Lord. We entrust it to Him through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, of our Father Saint Benedict and the other patron saints that the Church has assigned to protect Europe.
May the Lord bless your work and that of your collaborators and keep you most faithful to Christian principles. Most affectionately yours in Christ,

Sister Josefina Matía, Superior


CARMELITES OF THE CONVENT OF WITTEN
Witten, Gemany

I thank you from the heart for the great act of charity you perform, that is, for the sending of 30Days gratis

Witten, Tuesday 9 May 2006

Dear Senator Giulio Andreotti,
May the Risen Lord grant you all the necessary graces, bless you and reward you for the good you do for us, Carmelite nuns in Germany! I thank you from the heart for the great act of charity you perform, that is, for the sending of 30Days gratis in the German and Italian editions.
It is very important for me to read in Italian, thus I will not forget this most beautiful language. Again thank you from the heart! I pray for you and your collaborators.
With esteem and prayer,
Sister Maria Teresa O.C.D.






Letters from the missions


A SMALL GIFT

The editorial staff of 30Giorni decided to make a small gift to Italian Catholic missionaries all over the world: subscription to our magazine beginning with the first edition of 2006. The gift was accompanied by a letter from our Director which we print here.
Letters from missionaries are arriving in the editorial offices, and we have decided to printing them in this column, as we have been doing with letters from the cloistered convents for more than a year.




DON ORIONE COMMUNITY
Oradea, Bihor, Romania

A magazine already known and appreciated when we were students in Italy

Oradea, Tuesday 25 April 2006

Dear Director,
In the name of the Orionian religious community of Oradea I thank you for the copy of the magazine 30Days that we found in our post. It was a magazine already known and appreciated when we were students in Italy. And now here we can have it in our hands again.
We assure you and all the staff of remembrance in our prayer.
With gratitude,

Don Ugo Bozzi, Don Milhai Fecheta, Don Florian Gui


COMBONI HOUSE
São José do Río Preto, San Paolo, Brazil

«I knew Don Giussani from Desio well: I am from Seregno…»

São José do Río Preto, San Paolo, Brazil

Dear Senator Giulio Andreotti,
The mail of recent days brought me a copy of the magazine 30Days along with the book Religious sense, original sin, faith in Saint Augustine.
Your attached letter explains everything. I am very grateful to you, along with my fellow brothers (all old, the youngest is seventy, the other seventy-five, I’m seventy-eight, the oldest eighty-two…).
We are Combonian missionaries, three Italians and a Portuguese. We are grateful for this kind thought that allows us to be informed about events in Italy.
I attach what was published on the parochial website of my parish of origin for the fiftieth anniversary of my priesthood, thirteen years of which spent in Italy and the rest here in Brazil. I knew Don Giussani from Desio well: I’m from Seregno…
Cordial greetings to all the editorial staff of 30Days.
In the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, always along with Saint Joseph and Saint Daniele Comboni in happy company!

Father Enrico Galimberti


JESUITS
Teppoco, Naka-ku, Hiroshima, Japan

I continue to be a happy man because of the fidelity of God to His love

Hiroshima, Sunday 30 April 2006

Dear Senator Andreotti,
I wish to offer my sincere thanks for the unexpected and most appreciated sending of the magazine 30Days. It brings me a breath of serene and clear life from the Church in the whole world, adding joy and confidence to my work. I am from Biella in Piedmont and could sum up my life with «I sought happiness and found it!» Born in 1923, from my youth I dreamed, as everyone does, of success, happiness. But my family was poor and there wasn’t much to expect. The parish priest suggested that I try the Jesuit school in Muzzano, which was free for the poor. I went but with no desire to finish among the Jesuits, that was clear. At about 13-14 years I began to think and to reflect: why isn’t everything alright, why does one suffer?… I read books and then bit by bit a small light began to gleam: the Lord can fill your heart… if you open to Him. At sixteen – very egoistically – I turned toward the happiness that had presented itself to me and, going against everyone, I decided to enter the Jesuits at 17. I found myself happy and at 18 decided: «If I can bring a little of my happiness to others, my life will have a full meaning», and I asked to leave for the missions.
I had to wait until 1950 before arriving in Japan. I then discovered the School of Music in Hiroshima and asked if I could work there in the future. I continued my studies as a Jesuit and celebrated my first mass in 1958. After three years of music studies in New York I returned definitively to Hiroshima. At first I taught organ but then, as a good Italian, I changed to singing, which I continue to teach today, no longer at university, given my age, but here in Hiroshima, in Tokyo, in Fukuoka, giving private lessons and organizing concerts. Among them, every year at Christmas, I organize a concert of Italian music during which I take advantage as a priest to dispense a little of the joy of the Birth of Christ. It’s not all roses: I broke a leg, it was reset badly, I was very close to dying twice because of various operations… But it seems that Saint Peter doesn’t want too many Jesuits up there… and I came back again. Certainly, given my youthfulness, (next month I will be 83), I amaze myself and amaze others with all I can still do in daily life. To help the students I have also published twelve volumes of vocal lyrics of Italian chamber music, from the compositions of the great Italian masters. I continue to be a happy man! Because of the fidelity of God to His eternal love for us, who accepts us as we are, with an infinite love!
As you see, nothing sensational, but with the joy of God in the heart, trying to give some of it to others.
I renew my liveliest thanks, asking the Lord for many blessings on you and on your work.
Yours faithfully,

Luciano Bertagnolio S.J.


COMBONIAN MISSIONARIES
Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico

30Days will be a valid aid to keep me up to date on events in the Church and the world

Cuernavaca, Friday 12 May 2006

Dear Senator Andreotti,
I recently received two issues (January-February and March) of the magazine 30Days directed by you. I read immediately and with the greatest interest some articles in the magazine and learn with pleasure that you will continue to send it to me as a gift. Thank you. It will be a valid aid to keep me up to date on events in the world and the Church.
Cordially,

Father Domingo Zugliani, Combonian


 


Italiano Español Français Deutsch Português