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Sunday, 6 April 1947


In receiving such a distinguished gathering of high-ranking officials of UNRRA, one might easily yield to the temptation to descant rather at length on the words that make up the title of your organization. « United Nations »: nations of the world united; surely the fond and holy hope of mothers and wives and sisters, and of all men of good will; united moreover for the purpose of bringing relief to their less fortunate neighbours; and what is more, united to inflame in them anew a flickering courage or a smothered sense of personal respect and responsibility to arise and take their place with dignity among their peers: what a worthy and ennobling aim! But time will not permit Us to delay on these thoughts and We must content Ourselves with the sincere expression of Our welcome to you all.

You have gathered in Rome to prepare the passing of your organization into the history of these eventful days. Its book of life is to be closed. But the spirit that wrote its best pages must not pass. There are nations still crippled; they cannot stand unaided. There are peoples still struggling in the battle for existence; they must succumb to the agony they have been enduring in body and soul these long, endless postwar years, unless the granaries of their more prosperous fellow-men continue for yet a while and increasingly, to supply life's sustenance. We speak to those whose experience has taught them how tragically true are these conditions. We feel certain that they will not be abandoned.

This is Easter day. No quarter of the world but where men are commemorating today the Resurrection of the Saviour of mankind. His was an all-embracing love, as is that of the Church He founded. For His followers there were to be no strangers; but all men were to be made brothers through Him. This spirit of brotherly love still thrives in the heart of the common man. Its generous manifestations have been the one bright and cheering colour in a very dismal picture. Men do not want to be pitted ruthlessly against each other; they want to love one another, and they know that there lies the road to peace. It is in this universal brother-love We place Our confidence that help will continue to come to those in need. In its ability to triumph over self-seeking sowers of hate or disunion We see the sole hope of a just and enduring peace. Let no one cease to work and pray that that peace may come and come soon; the peace of Christ in the hearts of men and concord among nations.

May God bless you abundantly for the good that you have been able to accomplish through your organization. As a token of heavenly reward We are happy to impart Our Benediction to you and your dear ones at home.

*Discorsi e Radiomessaggi di Sua Santità Pio XII, IX,
 Nono anno di Pontificato, 2 marzo 1947- 1° marzo 1948, pp. 11-12
 Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana.

L’Osservatore Romano 7-8.4.1947, p.1.

Paths to Peace, p.449.

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