Eighty years ago, on February 10, 1939, Pope Pius XI breathed his last. He has gone down in history as the pope of the remarkable encyclical on the Social Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the pope who solemnly condemned the errors of Communism and National Socialism (Nazism).
Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti was born on May 31, 1857, in Desio, in northern Italy; in 1922, he became the 259th pope of the Catholic Church.
Marked by the first World War, Pius XI recalled to the nations of the world the Reign of Christ through the Peace of Christ, that is only obtained when His justice is established. Pax opus justitiae. The encyclical Quas Primas on the Social Reign of Christ was published on December 11, 1925.
In the face of the rising totalitarian regimes, Pius XI published two encyclicals in March 1937: Mit Brennender Sorge and Divini Redemptoris. In them, he condemned the false doctrines contained in Communism that is intrinsically perverse and Nazism that is essentially pagan.
On the political level, some of the decisions made during his pontificate remain controversial: in France, the condemnation of the Action Française in 1926 was a source of encouragement for the Christian Democrats, just as Leo XIII’s “ralliement” had served the purposes of the Liberal Catholics 30 years earlier; in Mexico, the attitude of the Church authorities towards the Cristeros resulted in the valorous defenders of the Faith being abandoned to a savage “purge” after an agreement was signed on June 27, 1929…
Pius XI was the pope who canonized St. Therese of the Child Jesus, St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John Bosco, St. Bernadette Soubirous, the Curé d’Ars, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat…
He is also the pope who warned against false ecumenism in Mortalium Animos and encouraged Christian marriage in Casti Connubii, both documents are still just as pertinent today.