Holy Family

Holy Family

Monday, February 7, 2011

Feast of Pope Saint Pius XI

Good morning.  It is of interest that the first reading for today’s Mass is from the first Chapter of Genesis on creation as today we celebrate the life of Pope Saint Pius XI.  Among other things Pope Pius XI is responsible for having authored the Papal Encyclical Casti Connubi—On Christian Marriage. It was a Papal Letter which reminded us of the wonderful gift of life and that a true Christian marriage is open to life. It was written in December 1930, and by no coincidence it was written then because it was the same year that the Anglican Church broke away from the “uninterrupted Christian tradition” of forbidding contraception or the disruption of life within marriage.  Pope Pius XI was responding not only to the Anglican Church’s reversal of their position on contraception but likewise to that of Margaret Sanger and what would become Planned Parenthood’s anti-life philosophy. He responded to the Anglican Church’s change in doctrine through recognizing the Catholic Church’s age-old teaching on the sanctity of marriage and the sanctity of life.  He noted that children are a gift from God and unlike current day society who might view a baby as being a “punishment,” Pope Pius XI wanted to emphasize how children are a blessing, and that current day society’s assault on life is part and parcel of society’s assault on marriage.  And lest anyone be confused, or delude themselves into thinking that it is a personal choice he was quite clear about the use of contraception: “…any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.”  May we join together today in reclaiming the sanctity of marriage through praying today in thanksgiving for the gift of marriage and the precious gift of life, and through the intercession of Pope Pius XI may we defend ourselves against those evils in our society that attack marriage and the gift of life. Make a great day!

Today we recall the good life, gifts and works of Pope Saint Pius XI.

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