O FULL OF GRACE


by*Venerable Pope Pius XII 

O Mary, "full of grace and blessed among women," 
stretch out the hand of your motherly protection, 
we ask you, upon us who gather round 
your queenly throne as your handmaidens, 
obedient to your command 
and resolved with your help 
to bring to realization in ourselves and our sisters 
the ideals of truth and Christian perfection. 

Our eyes are fixed on you in admiration, immaculate Virgin; 
you who are loved by the Heavenly Father above all others! 
O Virgin Spouse of the Holy Spirit! 
Tender Mother of Jesus! 
Obtain for us from your Divine Son 
the grace to reflect your sublime virtues in our conduct, 
according to our age and condition of life. 

Grant that we may be spotless and pure 
in our thoughts and in our behavior; 
gentle, affectionate, 
and sympathetic companions to our husbands; 
to our children solicitous, 
vigilant and wise mothers; 
prudent administrators of our homes; 
exemplary citizens of our dear country; 
faithful daughters of the Church, 
ever ready to allow ourselves to be guided 
by her in thought and deed. 

Help us, loving Mother, 
to be truly devoted to the duties of our state of life; 
help us make our homes true centers 
of spiritual life and active charity, 
schools where consciences will be rightly formed, 
gardens where every virtue will flourish. 
Give us your help that in social and political life 
we may be patterns of deep faith, 
of consistent and gracious Christian practice, 
of incorruptible integrity, 
and of well-balance judgment 
based upon the solid principles of religion. 

Bless these our resolutions 
which you have inspired us to make 
and the trials you have helped us to bear; 
may we with your aid come to see 
their abundant fruits in time and in eternity.

Amen. 

* The canonization process of Pope Pius XII dates to shortly after his death in 1958. He was declared a Servant of God in 1990 and Venerable in 2009. Father Peter Gumpel is currently the relator of Pius XII's cause for canonization. 

Archbishop van Lierde, archpriest of St Peter's Basilica and a close personal friend of Pope Pius XII, authorized and gave his Imprimatur to relic prayer cards in many languages dated December 8th 1958, two months less a day after the death of now Venerable Pope Pius XII. Most importantly, this authorized prayer released by the Vatican less than two months after Pope Pius XII' s death explicitly asks Our Lord, the Eternal Pontiff to hasten Pius being elevated to the Altars of the Church as a Saint. Officially mandated prayers for the canonization were thus current with official sanction weeks after the Pope's death. Certain claims that Monsignor Montini initiated the cause of canonization in the 1960s are not therefore supported by the facts clearly available to everyone.

Servant of God 

Pope John Paul II declared Pius XII a Servant of God in 1990.

Venerable 

Pope Benedict XVI initially decided to postpone Pius XII's cause for sainthood upon his election in 2005.[1] Benedict XVI had advocated waiting until the archives from Pius XII's papacy were opened to researchers in 2014.[1][2] A selection, the ADSS, edited by a multinational team of Jesuits, was published between 1965 and 1981.

Benedict XVI changed his mind and declared Pius XII Venerable on December 19, 2009, based on the recommendation of the committee.[1] Pope John Paul II, Benedict XVI's predecessor, was declared Venerable on the same day.[1] The Congregation for the Causes of Saints certifies the "heroic virtues" of a candidate for Venerable status, although the final decision lies with the Pope.[1] Benedict XVI was 12 years old when Pius XII was elected to the papacy in 1939; one Vatican insider described Benedict XVI's memory of Pius XII thus: "Pius is really his Pope."[1]

Business Week compared the move to Barack Obama's receipt of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, noting:

So what was the rush? The answer is politics – which does not make for an edifying religious spectacle. The common perception, disputed by the Vatican, is that by pairing Pius XII with John Paul II in the Dec 20 decree, Benedict had hoped to satisfy both the conservative and the liberal wings of the Catholic Church. Let’s just leave aside the fact that there isn’t much of a public constituency clamoring for a Saint Pius XII (Pius IX is beatified and Pius I, V and X are already saints), as there is for a Saint John Paul II, a charismatic pope who, many scholars say, played a key role in the collapse of Communism.[2]
Future 

Once the Vatican recognizes one scientifically inexplicable miracle based on Pius XII's intercession, the next step would be Beatification; a second miracle would result in Canonization (Sainthood).[1]

Father Peter Gumpel, the relator of the Pius XII's cause for canonization, claims that there are already several miracles attributable to Pius XII, including "one quite extraordinary one".

On August 1, 2013, an anonymous "source who works for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints" said Pope Francis is considering canonization without a miracle, "us[ing] the formula of scientia certa".[3]

Support 
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said: "With this decree the Pope says that Pius XII is a person that we have to admire, recognize as a model of Christian virtues, and it is very, very important that the church give officially this appreciation of this important pope that we know was guiding the church in very difficult times."[4]

After some criticism regarding naming the Pope venerable, Father Lombardi clarified that acknowledging heroic virtue "takes account of the circumstances in which the person lived, and hence it is necessary to examine the question from a historical standpoint, but the evaluation essentially concerns the witness of Christian life that the person showed – his intense relationship with God and continuous search for evangelical perfection [...] – and not the historical impact of all his operative decisions."[5]

Jewish Historians 

Responding to the attacks on Pius, several Jewish historians voiced support of his virtue:

Sir Martin Gilbert told an interviewer that Pius deserves not blame but thanks. Michael Tagliacozzo, the leading authority on Roman Jews during the Holocaust, added, "I have a folder on my table in Israel entitled 'Calumnies Against Pius XII.'…Without him, many of our own would not be alive." Richard Breitman (the only historian authorized to study U.S. espionage files from World War II) noted that secret documents prove the extent to which "Hitler distrusted the Holy See because it hid Jews."

Jewish leaders in Italy said they would reserve judgment until access to the Vatican's archives is made available, so a fair historical assessment of Pius could be made.[7]

Other support 

Cardinal George Pell of Australia stated: “I’m a great supporter of Pius XII. He was dealt an appallingly difficult set of cards … he did an enormous amount for the Jews.” [7]

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