Apostolic Letter Carissimis Russiae Populis
On the Immaculate Heart and the People of Russia
Pius XII, 7 July 1952
We know — and the knowledge has filled
Our heart with hope and with deepest comfort — that you love and honor the
Virgin Mother of God with ardent affection and that you venerate her sacred
images. It is known that in the Kremlin itself there was constructed a church
— today unfortunately no longer being used for divine worship—dedicated to
our Lady assumed into heaven; and this is a most clear testimony of the
affectionate devotion which your forebears had and you have for the beloved
Mother of God.
HOPE FOR HEARTS THAT LOVE MARY
Now We are well aware that the hope of
salvation can never be absent wherever hearts are turned with sincere and ardent
piety to the most holy Mother of God. Though attempts be made by men, no matter
how powerful or impious, to extirpate the Christian religion and Christian
virtue from the minds of the citizens, and though Satan himself may strive with
every means to foster this sacrilegious struggle—as is described in the words
of the Apostle of the Gentiles: "For our wrestling is not against flesh and
blood, but against the principalities and the powers, against the rulers of the
world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high
places"—yet notwithstanding, when Mary interposes her powerful
protection, the gates of hell cannot prevail.
She, in fact, is the most loving and most
powerful Mother of God and of us all, and never was it heard that anyone has had
suppliant recourse to her and has not experienced her most efficacious
protection. Continue, therefore, as you have been doing, to venerate her with
fervent piety, and to love her ardently and to invoke her with these words which
you have been accustomed to address to her: "To you alone has it been
given, O most holy and most pure Mother of God, unfailingly to have your
petitions ever answered."
MARY IMPLORED FOR RUSSIA
We, together with you, are raising to her
Our suppliant invocations, that the Christian Faith, which is the honor and
support of human society, may be strengthened and increased among the peoples of
Russia, and that all the wiles of the enemies of religion, all their errors and
their deceptive artifices, may be driven far from you; that public and private
morality may be brought into conformity with the teachings of the Gospels; that
those especially who among you profess themselves as Catholics, although
deprived of their pastors, may resist with fearless fortitude the assaults of
the impious, if necessary even unto death; that just liberty, which is the right
of the human person, of citizens, and of Christians, may be restored to all as
it should be, and in the first place to the Church, which has the divine mandate
of teaching to all men truth and virtue; and finally that true peace may come
with its shining light to your beloved nation and to all men throughout the
world, and that this peace, founded securely upon justice and nourished by
fraternal charity, may lead all mankind to that common well-being of citizens
and peoples which is the fruit of mutual concord.
May our most loving Mother be pleased to
look with clemency also upon those who are organizing the ranks of militant
atheists and upon those who are collaborating in promoting such activities; may
she deign to obtain for their minds that light which comes from God and direct
their hearts through divine grace unto salvation.
RUSSIA CONSECRATED TO THE IMMACULATE HEART
In order that Our and your prayers be more
readily answered, and to give you an especial attestation of Our particular
affection, therefore, just as not many years ago We consecrated the entire world
to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mother of God, in a most special way, so
now We dedicate and consecrate all the peoples of Russia to that same Immaculate
Heart, in confident assurance that through the most powerful protection of the
Virgin Mary there may, at the earliest moment, be happily realized the hopes and
desires which We, together with you and with all those of upright intention,
have for the attainment of true peace, of fraternal concord, and of rightful
liberty for all: in the first place for the Church, so that through the
mediation of the prayer which We raise to heaven in union with you and with all
Christian peoples, the saving Kingdom of Christ, which is "a Kingdom of
truth and of life, a Kingdom of sanctity and of grace, a Kingdom of justice, of
love, and of peace," may triumph and be firmly established in every part
of the world.
And with suppliant appeal We pray the same
most loving Mother that she may assist every one of you in the present sad
circumstances and obtain from her divine Son heavenly light for your minds, and
for your souls that virtue and fortitude by which, with God's grace, you may be
able victoriously to overcome impiety and error.
1 Ephesians 6:12.
2 Acathistus Festi Patrocinii
SS. Dei Genetricis; Kondak 3.
3 Praefatio in festo Christi Regis.
Source: Papal Documents on Mary (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing
Co., 1954) 249-251.