Letter of Pope Pius XI to Cardinal Pompili (1930-02-02)
Pius XI confides the Russian people to St. Therese (1929-08-19)
From a letter of Pope Pius XI to Cardinal Pompili (1930-02-02)
We feel profound emotion at the thought of the horrible crimes and sacrileges against God and against souls which every day are repeated and aggravated among the innumerable peoples of Russia, who are all dear to Our heart, if only by the greatness of their sufferings. To these peoples belong many children and devoted and generous ministers of this holy Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church; they have been devoted and generous even unto heroism and martyrdom.
The renewal and official publicity given to so many acts of blasphemy and impiety requires a more universal and solemn reparation. This past year during the Christmas holy days, not only were hundreds of churches closed, great numbers of icons burned, all workers and schoolchildren compelled to work, and Sundays suppressed, but they even compelled factory workers, both men and women, to sign a declaration of formal apostasy and hatred against God, or else be deprived of their bread rationing cards, clothing and lodging, without which every inhabitant of this poor country is reduced to dying of hunger, misery and cold. Among other things, in all the cities and many villages, infamous carnival spectacles were organized, as foreign diplomats saw with their very eyes at Moscow itself, at the centre of the capital, during the Christmas holy days last year: they witnessed a procession of tanks manned by numerous ruffians clad with sacred vestments, taking the cross in derision and spitting upon it while other armoured cars transported huge Christmas trees, from which marionettes representing Catholic and Orthodox bishops were hung by the neck. In the centre of the city, other young hoodlums committed all sorts of sacrileges against the cross.
We wish therefore, to the best of Our ability, to make an act of reparation for all these sacrilegious acts, and also to invite the faithful of the whole world to make reparation, and so we have resolved, Eminence, on the feast of Saint Joseph, March 19, 1930, to come to Our basilica of Saint Peter and to celebrate there, over the tomb of the Prince of the Apostles, a Mass of expiation, propitiation and reparation for so many criminal offences against the Divine Heart of Jesus, for the salvation of so many souls put to such a hard and painful trial, and also for the relief of Our dear Russian people, so that this long tribulation may finally cease, and peoples and individuals may return as quickly as possible to the one and only flock of Our only Saviour and Liberator, Our Lord Jesus Christ. After having asked His Sacred Heart to grant pardon and take pity on the victims and the murderers themselves, We will implore the holy and Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Her chaste Spouse, Saint Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, the particular protectors of Russia: the holy angels, Saint John the Baptist, Saint John Chrysostom, Saints Cyril and Methodius as well as many other saints and particularly Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, to whom We have especially entrusted the future of these souls.