"I bless peace, not war."
It was scarcely more than three weeks before the opening of the twenty-fifth National Eucharistic Congress when the news of the murder at Sarajevo of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife came like a thunder-clap upon the European world. The assassins being Serbians, Serbia was at once accused by Austria of complicity in the crime, and a drastic note, to be answered within a time limit of forty-eight hours, was presented for her acceptance. Of the policy which caused this move, and of the Powers behind it, this is not the place to speak.
The Pope, to whom the text of the Note was officially communicated by the Austro-Hungarian Government, foresaw most clearly the catastrophe that must inevitably follow. The Papal Nuncios received instructions to do all in their power to avert an international conflict, but it was too late to prevent the calamity; all efforts were in vain. In less than a fortnight the first act of the great tragedy had begun, and Austria, Serbia, Russia, Germany, Belgium, France and England were at war.
The blow fell crushingly on the Pope, whose heart was heavy with the thought of all the sufferings that war would bring in its train.
On July 28, 1914, the Austrian Ambassador appeared before Pius X to inform him that the Empire had formally declared war upon the Kingdom of Serbia. During this meeting, the ambassador asked the Pope to bless the guns of the imperial and royal army of Austria and Hungary. To this Pius X replied, “Tell the Emperor that I can bless neither war, nor those who have desired war. I bless peace.”
Deeply saddened by the lack of love and disregard for human values throughout the world, Pius X died less than two months after the outbreak of World War I, many still believe of a broken heart.
Italian translation by Aduah.
Tagged as: aph: italy. aph: south italy. aph: north italy. lovino vargas. feliciano vargas. aph: hungary. aph: austria. roderich edelstein. Elizaveta Héderváry. APH. Axis Powers Hetalia. hetalia.
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