Pope Pius XII sealed the year 1939, which saw his entry into the Supreme Pontificate, by visiting, on December 28th, the King and Queen of Italy at the Quirinal. Only a few days previously he had received Italy% reigning sovereigns in his own palace of the Vatican. This double visit healed the wound inflicted on the dignity of the Holy See by Garibaldi's action of 1870, and which Mussolini wisely sought to repair by appending his signature to the Later; n Treaty,
The New Year found Pope Pius still assiduous in his efforts towards achieving peace among the warring nations, and with those efforts went at the same time his urgent plee for more earnestness in prayer. We find him in April calling on all the children of the world to offer their prayers with him to Our Blessed Lady to ask of the Mother of God that Peace through Justice to which he dedicates his efforts, and ordering that the month of May should be set apart for this purpose. On Ascens Sian Day he canonised two new Saints of the Church, and three days later preached from the pulpit of a Roman church dedicated to Our Lady, praying that the horrors of war might be averted from his own Italy. The crowd in the church cheered him as he uttered his prayer.
PRAYERS FOR PEACE Prayers for peace have been constantly enjoined too by the Hierarchy in this country, whose members have ever been ready to associate their flocks with suggestions for Days of National Observance mooted by our King or by others. Thus we recall how the last Sunday in May was set apart as one of such solemn days, and bow a week of prayer and fasting was ordered for the faithful between July 7 and 14. In September, at the suggestion of President Roosevelt of the U.S.A., Sunday, September 8, birthday of Our Lady, was also named a day of Special Intercession both in the American Republic and here.
That such public prayer had its answer is the belief of Cardinal Hinsley aad others, who saw in the Miracle of the Evacuation from Dunkirk an answer to the nation's united intercession in May. The Cardinal at once ordered for June 8 the celebration of a Requiem and a Mass of Thanksgiving in Westminster Cathedral.
Cardinal Hinsley has throughout the year featured prominently hi the public life of the country through his patriotic leadership, and it is to him that we owe the fact that , certain prominent Catholics have been inspired to found the Sword of the Spirit Movement, recalling in the title the spirit of renewal and patriotism embodied in the Cardinal's eloquent broadcast address of the previous year. Further, the chaplains of the R.A.F. have now founded for airmen who are Catholics a new Guild which takes the title of the Guild of the Sword of the Spirit. They will wear the now famous Cardinal's Cross.
Events in ecclesiastical life necessarily comprise changes in the episcopate, which normally occur through death, and among these we can recall the death this year of that Dr. McQuaid, C.S.See, had been nominated for the See of Dublin. Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Baltimore, U.S.A., had been granted the additional episcopal title of Washington. thus joining two names. important both of them, in the national and religious life of American Catholics.
Northampton also received the news of the appointment of its seventh Bishop in the person of the Rev. T. 1.. Parker, M.A., of Manchester,
APPOINTMENT ID SPAIN Events abroad of Catholic interest included the appointment to Catholic and resuscitated Spain as British Ambassador of a man known for his dislike of Communism as well as for his love of Latin culture, Sir Samuel Hoare, while in the country to which he is accredited celebrations have been going on all the year in honour of the 19th Centenary of the Apparition of Our Lady Oil the Pillar of Saragossa. said to be the first Apparition of the Blessed Virgin, and to have occurred while she was still living in the Holy Land.
Portugal, Spain's neighbour, celebrated the attaining of 500 years of her history in July, and the Duke of Kent went in representation of the King to the celebrations held in Lisbon on that occasion. New Zealand held a great National Eucharistic Congress, at which 50,000 people attended, as the official Catholic participation in the Centenary celebrations of the Dominion.
Turning again to England, we had the first recorded visit of a papal representative to Scotland, when Archbishop Godfrey was received by the Hierarchy of the Northern Kingdom at Edinhurgh Cathedral, and afterwards addressed a huge meeting in one of the city's halls.
On Whit-Monday, Bishop Lee, of Clifton, sang Mass on the site on which the new Prinknash Abbey is being built, and Mgr. Hiner, Master of the Guild of Ransom, walked alone in April along the Tyburn