Christi Matri (1966)

Mother of Christ

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SEPTEMBER 15, 1966

To His Venerable Brothers the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops and other Local Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See.

Venerable Brothers, Health and Apostolic Benediction.

It is a solemn custom of the faithful during the month of October to weave the prayers of the Rosary into mystical garlands for the Mother of Christ. Following in the footsteps of Our predecessors, We heartily approve this, and We call upon all the sons of the church to offer special devotions to the Most Blessed Virgin this year. For the danger of a more serious and extensive calamity hangs over the human family and has increased, especially in parts of eastern Asia where a bloody and hard-fought war is raging. So We feel most urgently that We must once again do what We can to safeguard peace. We are also disturbed by what We know to be going on in other areas, such as the growing nuclear armaments race, the senseless nationalism, the racism, the obsession for revolution, the separations imposed upon citizens, the nefarious plots, the slaughter of innocent people. All of these can furnish material for the greatest calamity.

A Special Task from God

2. Like Our immediate predecessors, We seem to have received a special task from God in His providence to work patiently and constantly to preserve and strengthen peace. This task, as is evident, arises from the fact that We have been entrusted with the governing of the whole Church, which, as a "sign lifted up to the nations,'' (1) does not serve political ends but rather must bring the truth and grace of Jesus Christ, its divine Founder, to mankind.


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