Pope Pius XII Saved Jews

May 9, 2010

Venerable Pius XII always believed that it was part of his duties as Pope to be accessible to virtually everyone who wished to see him. His audiences would normally be crowded as a result. In the autumn of 1941 he held an audience which was no different. Italians, pilgrims of all nations, German soldiers (German soldiers flocked to see the Pope until the Nazis forbade such visits, fearing the influence the words of the Pope, in direct contradiction to the doctrines of National Socialism, might have on the Landsers.), humanity from across the globe, all eager to see, and perhaps have a word with, the Vicar of Christ on Earth.

Among the people waiting to see the Pope was a Jew. He was a German refugee. He wanted to tell the Pope about a group of Jews interned by the Fascist government of Italy on an island, in danger of starvation. Why go to the Pope? The whole world in 1941 knew that the Pope was a friend of the Jews and an enemy of the Nazis, so of course a Jew would seek his aid.

The turn of the Jew arrived to speak to the Pope. At first he spoke in broken Italian, but the Pope invited him to speak in his native German which the Pope both understood and spoke. He did, explaining to the Pope that he was a German Jew. After he had told the Pope about the interned Jews, the Pope told him, in German, “You have done well to come to me and tell me this. I have heard about it before. Come back tomorrow with a written report and give it to the Secretary of State who is dealing with the question. But now for you, my son. You are a young Jew. I know what that means and I hope you will always be proud to be a Jew!”

The Pope then raised his voice so that everyone in the hall, including the German soldiers, could hear him: “My son, whether you are worthier than others only the Lord knows, but believe me, you are at least as worthy as every other human being that lives on our earth! And now, my Jewish friend, go with the protection of the Lord, and never forget, you must always be proud to be a Jew!”

The Pope’s interlocutor didn’t forget his warm reception and wrote about it in the Palestine Post anonymously on April 28, 1944. The story at the time caused no great stir, because, of course, the whole world knew that the Pope had always been a friend of the Jews.


Eugenio Pacelli was the Vatican ambassador to Germany. He HATED NAZISM. He had to do all that he could do without fanfare or publicity because when the Church made a stand against the Nazi’s the Jews and Catholic priests suffered imprisonment and execution as retribution. Edith Stein, a Jewish convert and Carmelite Nun was killed in Auschwitz in 1942, as revenge against the Church for speaking against the Nazis.

The Jews themselves begged the Church not to oppose the Nazis publicly. So, not being stupid, Pius XII did all he could do for the Jews and other Nazi enemies secretly. You can read about this Here–>Edith Stein

But the most incontrovertible evidence that Pius XII helped the Jews is the story of the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli, and his conversion to the Catholic church less than a year after Rome was liberated by the Americans. And not only that, he chose as his baptismal name, EUGENIO, the name given to the Pope by his parents.

A few days later, the Chief Rabbi relinquished his duties, and went to find a priest in order to complete his instruction in the truths of the faith. On February 13, 1945, Archbishop Traglia conferred the sacrament of Baptism on Israel Zolli, who chose ‘Eugenio’ as his Christian name, in gratitude to Pope Pius XII for his decisive action on behalf of the Jews during the war. Zolli’s wife, Emma, received Baptism with her husband, and added the name ‘Maria’ to her first name. Their daughter Miriam would follow her parents after a year of personal reflection.

You can read the rest of his amazing conversion story at Salvation is from the Jews

There you will find many Jewish conversion stories. The webmaster’s own story is told in great detail in his book Salvation is From the Jews
I would also recommend Honey From The Rock a book of Jewish conversion stories.

May 5: Blessed Nunzio Sulprizio

May 5, 2010
Blessed Nunzio Sulprizio, 1817 -1836 Read the rest of this entry »

Saint Augustine Webster, Martyr Of England

May 4, 2010

Saint Augustine Webster, +1535 Read the rest of this entry »

May 2: Blessed Stanislas Kazimierczyk

May 3, 2010

Blessed Stanislas Kazimierczyk, 1433 – 1489 Read the rest of this entry »

How a Maryknoll Father Saved Japan

May 2, 2010

How a Maryknoll Father Saved Japan by Iosue Andreas  

This is a very interesting history — Patrick Byrne and Gerard Hammond: apostles of peace in Pyongyang. From the article, the story:

    It was the afternoon of August 15, 1945, and in Tokyo the staff of the newspaper Asahi were in a state of grave uncertainty. A few hours earlier, the emperor, in a message to the nation, had declared the end of the war and had exhorted all to “bear the unbearable”. The “unbearable” was unconditional surrender. The aircraft carrier Missouri was heading toward the bay of Tokyo. The population had to be prepared, to keep them from being overcome by panic. Above all, the fate of the women was a source of concern.

    It was urgent to find a personality who would be able to influence the parties in such a way that the occupation would take place in an orderly manner. A journalist, Miyamoto, thought of the Catholic Church. He was not a Christian, but he had heard his daughter, who was a Catholic, talk about the Church of Rome. His colleagues approved the proposal, and Miyamoto, Read the rest of this entry »

May 1: Saint Joseph The Worker

May 1, 2010