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Religion: Miserentissimus

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“From the extreme boundaries of the east, to the furthermost west we are reached by the cries of peoples whose Kings or Governments have risen up or conspired against God and His Church. We have seen in these nations divine and human rights trodden under foot, temples destroyed from their foundations up and priests and sacred virgins evicted from their houses, imprisoned and subjected to persecution. We have seen young boys and girls dragged from the bosom of the Church, urged to deny and blaspheme against Christ and led to the worst sins of luxury. . . .

“No less sad is it that even among the faithful, bathed with baptism in the blood of the Immaculate Lamb and enriched by grace, there are many of all classes who, ignorant of things divine or poisoned by false doctrines, live evil lives far from the house of their divine father without the light of faith and without the joy of hope of future beatitude, and deprived of the benefits and comforts deriving from the ardor of charity, so that it can in truth be said that they live in darkness and the shadow of death.

“Moreover among the faithful there grows carelessness of matters religious and of ancient tradition whereby Christian life is supported, domestic society regulated and the sanctity of matrimony defended. The education of youth is completely neglected or spoiled by too effeminate attentions, while the Church even has been deprived of the right to educate youth. Christian modesty is completely forgotten in the mode of dressing and living, especially of women.

“Insatiable longing for earthly goods, unbridled predominance of civil interests, ardent search for popular favor and contempt of legitimate authority and the word of God have shaken faith itself, or very gravely threaten it.”

Thus to all the faithful wrote last week the Beatissimus Father, Pope Pius XI. He entitled his encyclical. “Miserentissimus Redemptor;” in it. after the above recital of woe, he called upon the faithful to make reparation for the sins of the world—especially on the day sacred to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In Latin countries, boys are named for a patron saint and celebrate that saint’s day as other boys celebrate birthdays. Therefore, the boy who was Achille Ambrogio Damiano Ratti and who is now the 71-year old Pope, chose the day of Achilles the Martyr (May 12) for the issuance of his fervent encyclical.

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