Honourable members of Congress,
When His Excellency the personal representative of your President asked Us to receive the Congressional Committee now visiting Europe, We at once assured him that it would give Us real pleasure to do so; We wish to repeat the assurance of that pleasure now to you, honourable members here present. To one and all Our heartfelt welcome.
At this critical moment in human history the legislators of the world’s nations carry a particularly grave responsibility. The questions that they are called on to decide have more than a passing political significance. They reach down to the roots of human society, to the inviolability of the human person, to those inalienable, God-given rights that are antecedent to the State and that no State dare infringe without jeopardizing its own existence. Foremost among those rights is the freedom to practise religion founded on faith in God and His revelation. To the legislators of today and tomorrow has been confided the noble task to ensure that those rights shall not perish, but shall be protected, defended and held in honour among all peoples.
Oh, how earnestly We pray to God every day, that His grace may illumine the minds of law-givers and heads of States to see and give them the courage to choose the path that leads to the peace that their hearts crave for. The master mind of Augustine came to realize that the human heart can never rest unless it rests in God; and what is true of the individual, is true of the multitude which forms our human society. This war will end; but the peace that men will clutch at, will crumble in their hands, unless God has first place in the councils of nations, unless His ten commandments and the truths given to men by Christ are at the foundations of the new world that all men of good will are hoping to see erected for the betterment of mankind. That that new world may also bring an increase of glory to God, We pray heaven’s blessings on those who chiefly have its making in their hands, and in particular upon you, honourable members of Congress. God bless you, your families, all your dear ones at home and our beloved country.
Discorsi e Radiomessaggi di Sua Santità Pio XII, VI, Quinto anno di Pontificato, 2 marzo 1944 - 1° marzo 1945, pp. 223-224.
Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana
Source: © Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Published with permission.