The Pope who faced the rise of Hitler

Pope Pius XI

Pius XI was Pope for the inter-war period and faced the rise of Mussolini, Stalin and Hitler. He freed the Popes from their 'imprisonment' in the Vatican by signing a pact with Italy, but faced a world hurtling towards war and Holocaust. 

- Pius XI: echoes of that era, Vatican Radio.

Pope from 1922 to 1939, Pius XI was a significant figure in history. He wrote a number of remarkable encyclicals, including the famous 'Mitt Brennender Sorge' 1937 denunciation of Nazi Germany, which accused the Hitler regime of sowing 'the tares of suspicion, discord, hatred, calumny, of secret and open fundamental hostility to Christ and His Church.'

Among other initiatives, he also founded Vatican Radio. To mark the anniversary of its February 1939 foundation, Veronica Scarisbrick brings you an adapted feature taken from her series 'Echoes of an era : the popes of the twentieth century remembered by those who knew them.'

In this programme she brings you the personal witness of some of those who lived through that era.

Guests who include members of the papal court of the time such as the late Count Carlo Cardelli and the late Marquis Mario Theodoli. But also some of those who did not belong to that papal court such as the late Princess Orietta Doria Pamphilj and Rosminian Fr Jean Charles- Roux.

To listen to the feature, CLICK HERE.

Related coverage:


Pius on Hitler's Germany: Mit Brennender Sorge, Encyclical of Pope Pius XI on the Church and the German Reich (1937).

Pius on Stalin's Russia: Divini Redemptoris, Encyclical of Pope Pius XI on Atheistic Communism (1937).

Pius on Mussolini's Italy: Non Abbiamo Bisogno, Encyclical of Pope Pius XI on Catholic Action in Italy (1931)


Pope Pius XI (Encyclopedia Britannica)

Mass on Demand


From St Mary’s, North Sydney. The first Mass of the day on YouTube

Mass Online


Live streamed from Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, Waitara


Daily Prayer

Daily Prayer

All your daily readings, reflections and prayers can be found here...