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Pope Pius XII , born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli ">[euˈdʒɛːnjo maˈriːa dʒuˈzɛppe dʒoˈvanni paˈtʃɛlli]; 2 March 1876 – 9 October 1958), reigned as Pope from 2 March 1939 to his death in 1958. Before his election to the papacy, Pacelli served as secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, papal nuncio to Germany , and Cardinal Secretary of State, in which capacity he worked to conclude treaties with European and Latin American nations, most notably the Reichskonkordat with Nazi Germany, with which most historians believe the Vatican sought to protect the Church in Germany while Adolf Hitler sought the destruction of "political Catholicism". A pre-war critic of Nazism, Pius XII lobbied world leaders to avoid war and, as Pope at the outbreak of war, issued Summi Pontificatus, expressing dismay at the invasion of Poland, reiterating Church teaching against racial persecution and calling for love, compassion and charity to prevail over war.

Pope Venerable
Bishop of Rome
His Holiness Pope Pius XII.png
Papacy began 2 March 1939
Papacy ended 9 October 1958
Predecessor Pius XI
Successor John XXIII
Orders
Ordination 2 April 1899
by Francesco di Paola Cassetta
Consecration 13 May 1917
by Benedict XV
Created Cardinal 16 December 1929
by Pius XI
Personal details
Birth name Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli
Born (1876-03-02)2 March 1876
Rome, Kingdom of Italy
Died 9 October 1958(1958-10-09) (aged 82)
Castel Gandolfo, Italy
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  • Pro-Secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs (1912–1914)
  • Secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs (1914–1917)
  • Titular Archbishop of Sardes (1917–1929)
  • Apostolic Nuncio to Germany (1917–1930)
  • Apostolic Nuncio to Prussia (1926–1929)
  • Cardinal-Priest of Santi Giovanni e Paolo (1929–1939)
  • Prefect of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs (1930–1939)
  • Archpriest of Saint Peter's Basilica (1930–1939)
  • Camerlengo of the Apostolic Chamber (1935–1939)
Motto

Opus Justitiae Pax

("The work of justice [shall be] peace" [Is. 32: 17])
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Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Sainthood
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Title as Saint Venerable
Other popes named Pius

Pope Pius XII (Italian: Pio XII), born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli ([euˈdʒɛːnjo maˈriːa dʒuˈzɛppe dʒoˈvanni paˈtʃɛlli]; 2 March 1876 – 9 October 1958), reigned as Pope from 2 March 1939 to his death in 1958. Before his election to the papacy, Pacelli served as secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, papal nuncio to Germany (1917–1929), and Cardinal Secretary of State, in which capacity he worked to conclude treaties with European and Latin American nations, most notably the Reichskonkordat with Nazi Germany, with which most historians believe the Vatican sought to protect the Church in Germany while Adolf Hitler sought the destruction of "political Catholicism". A pre-war critic of Nazism, Pius XII lobbied world leaders to avoid war and, as Pope at the outbreak of war, issued Summi Pontificatus, expressing dismay at the invasion of Poland, reiterating Church teaching against racial persecution and calling for love, compassion and charity to prevail over war.

While the Vatican was officially neutral during the war, Pius XII maintained links to the German Resistance, used diplomacy to aid the victims of the war and lobby for peace and spoke out against race-based murders and other atrocities. The Reichskonkordat of 1933 and Pius's leadership of the Catholic Church during World War II remain the subject of controversy—including allegations of public silence and inaction about the fate of the Jews. After the war Pius XII advocated peace and reconciliation, including lenient policies towards Axis and Axis-satellite nations. The Church experienced severe persecution and mass deportations of Catholic clergy in the Eastern Bloc. Pius XII was a staunch opponent of Communism and of the Italian Communist Party. Pius XII explicitly invoked ex cathedra papal infallibility with the dogma of the Assumption of Mary in his 1950 Apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus. His magisterium includes almost 1,000 addresses and radio broadcasts. His forty-one encyclicals include Mystici corporis, the Church as the Body of Christ; Mediator Dei on liturgy reform; and Humani generis on the Church's positions on theology and evolution. He eliminated the Italian majority in the College of Cardinals in 1946.

In 1954, Pius XII began to suffer from ill health, which would continue until his death in 1958. The embalming of his body was mishandled, with effects that were evident during the funeral. He was buried in the Vatican grottos and was succeeded by Pope John XXIII.

In the process toward sainthood, his cause for canonization was opened on 18 November 1965 by Pope Paul VI during the final session of the Second Vatican Council. He was made a Servant of God by Pope John Paul II in 1990 and Pope Benedict XVI declared Pius XII Venerable on 19 December 2009.