BY Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey, SS.CC.
OTHER LETTERS FROM
THE SOVEREIGN PONTIFFS
TO FATHER MATEO
Autographed Blessing of
His Holiness Benedict XV
“On the Director and the members of the Work of the ‘Social Reign of the Sacred Heart in Christian Families,’ We gladly bestow the Apostolic Blessing, hoping that their Crusade of faith and love may make Jesus Christ better known, and may restore His Sovereignty over the family and over society at large.”
Given at the Vatican, 12th May, 1917.
BENEDICT PP., XV
Letter of His Holiness Pius XI
To Our Beloved Son, Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey, Chief Director of the Work of the Consecration of families to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
PIUS XI, PP.
Beloved Son, Health and the Apostolic Benediction.
It will soon be your happiness to renew the holy memory of that day on which, twenty-five years ago, you offered for the first time the Holy Sacrifice to God and promised to work for the salvation of souls and His own Divine Glory. And, in fact, how absorbed you have been by these resolves, during the years gone by, is easily seen by the manner in which you have spread filial love everywhere to the August Heart of Jesus not only by consecrating families to this worship, but seeing to it that Christ the Lord should have, as King, the place of honor in every home.
We therefore seize this favorable opportunity to manifest Our personal good-will to you. We join Our late Predecessors in showering praise upon you, and very willingly share with you the joy of this happy occasion.
We pray God may keep you in His graciousness for long days to come to carry out even more devotedly your original enterprise, and with an everexpanding love to the Most Holy Eucharist; for, if ever before, it is now, in the great upheaval of all things, a most pressing need, that the Lord Jesus, the King of Peace, Who is alone the Way, the Truth and the Life, should rule the social life of men.
As a forecast of Heavenly gifts and from the depths of Our heart, We grant you, beloved Son, and all belonging to you, the Apostolic Blessing.
Given at St. Peter’s, Rome, this 15th day of the month of December, 1923, in the second year of Our Pontificate.
Pius PP., XI
Very affectionately in the Lord, under Our own hand.
To console the heart of Pius XII, saddened by the present state of the world, Father Mateo wrote him some time ago a letter full of filial love, in which he related to the Sovereign Pontiff the joy and the great hopes he experienced while laboring in the United States, and especially the consolations afforded by his retreats to the clergy at the Catholic University of America and in many dioceses of the country. Here is the reply, which amply proves how much the Holy Father appreciated the sentiments and information contained in Father Mateo’s letter:
From the Vatican, June 27, 1942
Secretariate of State of His Holiness
Dear Reverend Father:
The enthusiastic report about your ministry in the United States of America, particularly retreats preached to the clergy, which your filial communication furnished His Holiness, did not fail to fill the heart of the Venerable Pontiff with a lively consolation.
He Himself cherishes too true and encouraging a memory of His journey throughout distant America, made some years prior to His elevation to the See of Peter, not to hold a special paternal interest in the apostolic enterprises which are under way there with so much success and effectiveness.
Hardly had He assumed the tiara, when one of His first acts was the memorable Encyclical Sertum Laetitiae, due to the 150th anniversary of the Catholic Hierarchy in the United States. In it He granted to this great portion of the Church of Jesus Christ, His highest rank of nobility and engaged the American people “who by nature are given to great under takings and to liberality” to the enduring victories of Faith and the Christian name. Therefore the Holy Father is not surprised at the warrants of satisfaction and hope which you found so plentiful in your work among priests and students for the priesthood. He does not tire in contemplating the ardor with which the “I thirst” of the Sacred Heart, Whose zealous messenger you are, is embraced throughout your priestly retreats.
Doubtless, in this way, the Holy Spirit prepares excellent and providential aids for God’s Kingdom, who by fulfilling the papal recommendations regarding the intellectual and theological training of the clergy, its intelligent discipline and its devotion to charitable works, may be the most meritorious makers of both the spiritual and temporal welfare of their country.
Enough has been said, Reverend Father, to prove how His Holiness regards you for so salutary an apostolate, what wishes He entertains for your good health, and what prayers He offers up for the moral and the religious advancement of the great country where Divine Providence has directed your steps. To attest His Fatherly trust in you and at the same time to draw down the choicest favors, the Sovereign Pontiff sends you His heartfelt Apostolic Benediction.
With personal wishes and compliments, I beg you, Reverend Father, to accept my sentiments as unreservedly dedicated in Our Savior.
(Signed) L. CARD. MAGLIONE