August 24, 1939 – The world at the brink of war. Every effort, diplomatic and otherwise was being made to prevent what was increasingly becoming an inevitability. And on this day, from the Vatican and broadcast throughout the world via Shortwave, Pope Pius XII delivered an appeal to the world for peace:
RADIO MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE PIUS XII
ADDRESSED TO THE RULERS AND TO THE PEOPLE
imminent DANGER OF WAR *
Thursday, August 24, 1939
To all the world.
An hour serious plays again for the great human family; Now of tremendous deliberations, of which we can not disinterested our heart, should not be disinterested in our spiritual authority, which comes from God to lead our spirits on the paths of justice and peace.
And here I am with you all, who at this moment bear the burden of so much responsibility, for through Our, listen to the voice of that Christ from which the world had a high school of life, and in which millions and millions of souls put their trust in A slip where only his word can master all the noises of the earth.
Here are you, peacekeepers, politicians and weaponsmen, writers, radio and forum speakers, and how many others have authority over the brothers thinking and action, the responsibility of their fates.
We no longer arm that of the word of Truth, above public competitions and passions, we speak in the name of God, from which every paternity in heaven and earth takes its name ( Eph. , III, 15), – of Jesus Christ, our Lord, that all men have wanted brethren, – of the Holy Spirit, the gift of God the most High, an inexhaustible source of love in hearts.
Today, despite our repeated exhortations and our particular interest, the most fussy are the fears of a bloody international conflict; Today that the tension of the spirits seems to have come to such an extent as to make imminent the forthcoming tremendous turbine of the war, we turn to the paternal spirit a new and warmer appeal to the Governers and the peoples: to those who, because of their accusations, the threats , The causes of mutual distrust, try to resolve the current divergences with the only means appropriate to it, namely by common and loyal intentions: to these, because in calm and serenity, without uncompromising agitation, encourage the peaceful attempts of those who It governs.
It is with the strength of reason, not with that of weapons, that Justice will make way. And the non-founded emperors of God are not blessed by God. The politics emancipated by morality betrays the very ones who so want it.
Imminent is the danger, but it is still time.
Nothing is lost with peace. It can all be with the war. They bring people back to understand. They resume dealing. By treating with good will and with respect for mutual rights, we will realize that sincere and active negotiations are never a successful success.
And they will feel great – of true grandeur – if silence imposing passionate voices, both collective and private, and leaving its empire right, will have spared the blood of the brothers and the homeland of the ruins.
Do the Almighty that the voice of this Father of the Christian family, of this Servant of Servants, that of Jesus Christ wears unworthily yes, but really among men, the person, the word, the authority lies in the minds and in the Hearts willing and willing to welcome.
We hear the strong, so that you do not become weak in injustice. They listen to the powerful, if they want their power to be non-destructive, but support for the peoples and keep them safe in order and work.
We plead for the blood of Christ, whose world-winning power was mansuetudine in life and death. And supplicating them, we know and feel that we have all the righteous ones with us; All those who are hungry and thirsty for Justice – all those who already suffer, for the evils of life, every pain. We have with us the hearts of mothers, who beats with Our; The fathers, who should abandon their families; Humble, who work and do not know; The innocent, on whom the tremendous threat lies; The young, generous knights of the purest and noble ideals. And it is with us the soul of this old Europe, which was the work of Christian faith and genius. With us the whole humanity, waiting for justice, bread, freedom, not iron that kills and destroys. With us that Christ, who of fraternal love has made His commandment, fundamental, solemn; The substance of his religion, the promise of health for individuals and for the nations.
Remember that human industries are worth nothing without divine help, we invite all to turn their gaze to the High and ask with the Lord’s fervent precepts that his grace abound in this upset world, plague anger, reconcile souls and face Shine the dawn of a more serene future. In this expectation and with this hope, we give our Father our Blessing all heartily.
News as it was unfolding on those fateful days in 1939. Here is that address from August 24, 1939 from Vatican Radio.