Page 1, 28th May 1954

28th May 1954
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Page 1, 28th May 1954 — Glorious pageant of the Canonisation
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Glorious pageant of the Canonisation

THE TRIUMPH OF

A PAPAL `PRISONER'

Million to honour St. Pius X

FIRST the Canonisation ... Then Pope St. Pius X, who was the Prisoner of the Vatican, will on Sunday evening be borne in triumph through the streets of Rome—streets that were forbidden to him through all the I I years of his Pontificate.

A million people probably even more from nearly every nation will be in the streets to see the body of the newly canonised saint, in a bronze and crystal casket, drawn in a decorated coach with six white horses to the Basilica of St. Mary Major for the solemn triduum of thanksgiving and veneration.

Thousands of priests and men of Catholic Action will walk in procession ahead of and behind the relics at the close of a day which will have seen the Holy Father presiding at the Pontifical Canonisation Mass celebrated in St. Peter's by the Dean of the Sacred College, Cardinal Tisserant, with the body of the saint enshrined beside the Papal Altar.

For 33 years before the Conclave of 1903 the Popes had been the voluntary Prisoners of the Vatican, obliged to remain within the confines of the Vatican, its gardens and St. Peter's, because to go into the streets would have given a semblance of surrender and condonation to the invader who had seized the Papal City in 1870.

Lateran Treaty

This voluntary imprisonment continued through the Pontificate of Pope Pius X, through the Pontificate of Pope Benedict XV and into the Pontificate of Pope Pius XI, who ended it at last in 1929 with the Lateran Treaty and Concordat which, Pius XI said, "gave God back to Italy and Italy back to God."

And at last St. Pius X, as we shall now be privileged to call him, will make the journey which so many of his predecessors before 1870 made through their City and which the Pope who is canonising him tomorrow in St. Peter's Square himself made a few months ago to the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

Three weeks ago the Prefect of the Papal Master of Ceremonies was asking that no more applications should be made for reserved places in St. Peter's Square; many as they are, they had all been allotted.

Places for workers

The one exception was made by the Holy Father himself—that special places should be reserved for representatives of the workers, who henceforth at Papal functions will have a place with princes and dipleimats and others who by long tradition have attended the Sovereign Pontiff.

Every hotel in Rome and other places where visitors are normally accommodated have long since closed their books. Even many of the people in and around Riese, the new saint's birthplace, have had to receive "No" to their asking : some intend to make "hotels" of the coaches bringing them to Rome for the canonisation, the procession through Rome and the week-long celebrations.

The 40 Cardinals and 1,000 Archbishops and Bishops who will be surrounding the Papal throne at the top of the steps leading into St. Peter's at the canonisation ceremony have been arriving in Rome with thousands of priests and laity from all parts of the free world.

The Voice of Rome

For nearly a week now, in all the hundreds of churches and chapels of the Eternal City and throughout the diocese of Rome, priests and people have been singing the Veni Creator Spiritus and saying the prayer in preparation for the canonisation. And on Saturday evening, by direction of the Pope's Vicar General. Cardinal Micara, all the church bells in the city and the area around will be rung for half an hour in celebration.

Twenty Cardinals and some 80 Patriarchs, Archbishops and Bishops attended the Consistory which the Holy Father held in the Consistorial Hall last week to receive their votes on the canonisation of Blessed Pius and the five Beati who arc to be canonised on June 12—BB. Peter Chanel. Gaspare del Rufalo, Joseph Pignatelli, Dominic Savio and Marla di Rosa.

They knew him

The second canonisations were to have been on June 13. but now it has been arranged that they shall take place on the previous day and that the Canonisation Mass in St. Peter's shall be celebrated on June 13.

Two of the Cardinals who gave their votes at the Consistory were named Bishops by the Pope whom nine days after the assembly in the Vatican they were to honour as St. Pius, They are Cardinal Tappouni, Syrian Patriarch of Antioch, and Cardinal Caro Rodriguez, Archbishop of Santiago, Chile.

After Cardinal Cicognani, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, Continued on page 10

• • Canomsatton Consistory

Continued from page I had read a summary of the canonisation causes, the Holy Father formally asked each one present to express his opinion.

One by one the members of the Sacred College, beginning with the Dean, Cardinal Tisserant, rose, raised his skullcap, bowed to the Holy Father and said : "Placet."

Millions will this week-end be able to say they have heard the Holy Father's infallible pronouncement of the canonisation, taken to them, amidst the multitude in St. Peter's Square and beyond the City by microphones at the Papal throne. The whole ceremony will be televised by the Italian State Radio.




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