Sunday, June 5, 2011

June 5, 1944

Today is the anniversary of the Liberation of Rome by the Allied Troops. Here is a video of Pope Pius XII addressing the troops:

Incidentally, Rome during the War was an exciting place. All sorts of things were going on under the noses of the Germans. The tomb of St. Peter was discovered, for example. It had to be kept a secret, since the Nazis had a very odd fascination for religious artifacts (the Holy Grail, the spear of St. Longinus, etc) so the Vatican Gardens were completely remodeled, so that the volume of dirt being dug out from underneath St. Peter's Basilica could be disposed of without comment. Pope Pius XII and Monsignor O'Flaherty were hiding Jews everywhere: in the Vatican, in the Catacombs, with various families throughout the city. British soldier, Sam Derry, with the help of the good Monsignor, had created the Rome Escape Line which hid Allied soldiers who had been cut off from the Allied troops during the Italian Campaign, and helped them to return to their units. Someday, I would like to write a neat little history book that focused just on Rome during the war. It would make from some fascinating reading!


Teresa said...

I like Pope Pius XII. :)

Mahri said...

Me too. I consider him one of the great, unsung heroes of the 20th century.