Footage of Pius XII and old rite Extreme Unction

Blasts from the past:


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Oh my gosh, what was that?!?! Can I get it with subtitles? That was so cool when they carried Papa around in the chair. I wish they still did that.

  2. VexillaRegis says:

    Ach, wie vergnügt, wär’ so mein’ Ende.

    (From the aria Bist du bei mir by Bach) Very touching indeed.

  3. Horatius says:

    Thank you, Father.
    My mother, herself of German extraction, died two years ago, and it was I from hundred of miles away who contacted the priest to ask that he give her last rites.

    Yes, this clip was very moving. Many, many thanks.

  4. Mike says:

    Very cool. However, and not to diminish seeing footage of a saintly Pope, what’s with all the red drappery? My goodness. St. Peter’s looks like a opera house here!

    I much prefer it as it is today…

  5. Pax--tecum says:

    Wow, I really like this. The Pope is Christ’s Vicar on earth, so he is to be treated with reverence, as we can see in this video. Bring back the splendour of the Roman Catholic Church!

  6. AnAmericanMother says:

    This is Der ungetreutene Himmel (Heaven embezzled), a Marischka film from a novel by Franz Werfel (Song of Bernadette).
    Executive summary: Teta, a cook for an upper class Austrian family, wants to ensure her place in heaven, so she finances her nephew’s seminary education by long distance. He turns out to have defrauded her (he’s not a priest at all and is living a dissolute life in Prague). In remorse for her mistake in believing that she could buy heaven, she undertakes a pilgrimage to Rome despite her ill health. She meets a fine young priest who restores her faith in the clergy, attends a Papal audience, suffers a stroke, but dies happily after receiving Extreme Unction, with a beautiful Rosary, a gift from the Holy Father himself, in her hands.
    Did you notice the beautiful and effective cuts between Vbl. Pius XII and the statue of St. Peter with the Keys?

  7. Bryan Boyle says:

    Now…that’s just beautiful. To receive the last rights as practiced for centuries…fully confessed…at peace, strengthened by Viaticum…

    How often is that not the case? We know not the day or the hour…as Father says…”Go to Confession”. And pray for the grace to face those final moments properly.

  8. Thank you, AnAmericanMother! I wonder if I can find this film somewhere – looks like it would be an excellent thing to watch. This clip was wonderful.
    My mother and I put together a sick call set when I was in highschool – I would suggest that to anyone who wants to be prepared for death. Just like a first aid kit! Find a box, put in two candles (blessed, if possible) with candlesticks; an upright crucifix; cotton balls; a purificator (from your nearest Catholic shop) to cover the bedside table with; a bottle of holy water. I think that’s all. Keep the box next to your bed, in the glove box of your car, or in the front hall to grab if you need to take it to the hospital. A rosary is also good to keep there, along with an extra candle to carry when meeting a visiting priest at the door. If and when you actually need to use the sick call set, get a little plate and a piece of bread, plus a small bowl of water and a towel for the priest to clean his hands with after using the holy oil.

  9. AnnAsher says:

    Extreme Unction is, I think, the greatest gift of Christ’s Church besides His saving Sacrifice of Himself. That a Catholic, fallen away, deep in sin, can reach out at the last moments – seconds – of their life and be forgiven and received. To bring a Priest to the bedside of the dying is a great privilege.

  10. mamajen says:

    Sigh. I was born in the wrong decade.

  11. Supertradmum says:

    I hope and pray there is a priest for this sacrament when I pass on. We cannot take these things for granted. The hospitals in one of the places I use to live in America “fired” all the Catholic priests and now only have “ecumenical chaplains”.

    How nice is the story and getting a rosary from the Pope. What a great way to go on to eternal life…

  12. wolfeken says:

    Where were all of the cell phone cameras? Did people actually just enjoy the moment with Pius XII instead of fiddling around with electronic handheld devices?

  13. Stu says:

    I was in tears seeing Papa like this. For so many years, those against the Church (both inside and outside) have tried to smear this man and make him out as some sort of cold and aloof figure.

    It simply wasn’t true.

    Santo Subito!

  14. discerningguy says:

    There’s “charismatic” for ya!

  15. Bryan Boyle says:

    mamajen: Never give up hope. The restoration is coming, perhaps not in my lifetime, but I’m sure you may very well experience the true ‘new’ springtime that I’m praying is just around the corner!

  16. AnAmericanMother says:

    Sheesh, my memory ain’t what it used to be. Neither is my reading comprehension, since it’s in the clip.
    It’s “Der veruntreute Himmel”.
    But it’s not available even on Amazon-Deutschland. It goes out of copyright in another 5 years or so.

  17. DisturbedMary says:

    Pius XII smiling all over the place! He was unrestrained. Took me back to this entry of yours

    I wonder how much of the opera-house-St.-Peters was superimposed footage of His Holiness. Fantastic camera tricks I think though very well done.

  18. VexillaRegis says:

    I wonder if some catholic TV station, like the EWTN or so, might have a copy stashed away that they could broadcast? It would be lovely to watch the entire movie. Woul have to bring a BIG hankie though for the tears and sniffles :-)

  19. Sissy says:

    I got goosebumps when the curtains parted and the Holy Father appeared! Thanks for this.

  20. Angie Mcs says:

    Thank you, AnAmerican Mother, for the background story to this film. I speak German and could understand the dialogue but it touched me especially, knowing more about the plot.

    Such beauty, joy and peace on her face, as she realizes she has a chance for a place in heaven after all. We don’t all get crucifixes from the Pope, but the same, ultimate gift awaits us all. Amen.

  21. digdigby says:

    It reminds me of an ‘enlightenment’ non-Catholic Englishman’s view of what Holy Rome was once:
    “I went out,” says Sir Humphrey Davy, “with almost the whole population of Rome, to receive and welcome the triumphal entry of Pius VII, that illustrious Father of the Church, into his capital; a man whose sanctity, firmness, meekness and benevolence, are an honor to human nature. His sedia gestatoria was borne on the shoulders of the most distinguished artists, headed by Canova: and never shall I forget the enthusiasm with which he was received: it is impossible to describe the shouts of triumph and of rapture sent up to heaven by every voice. And when he gave his benediction to the people there was a universal prostration, a sobbing, and marks of emotions of joy almost like the bursting of the heart; I heard everywhere around me cries of ‘ holy father! most holy father! his restoration is the work of God!’ I saw tears streaming from the eyes of the women; even men were weeping as though they were children.”
    Thus ended the persecution of the eighteenth century.
    – Digby, MORES CATHOLICI: Vol.1, pg 205

  22. Aegidius says:

    Nothing much to add, just for those trying to find the movie:
    “Der veruntreute Himmel” is the correct German title.

  23. keithp says:

    It was very moving to see the Rite. I had no idea.
    It seems to me sometimes that we have lost so much of our Catholic history and tradition.

  24. nemo says:

    My father was blessed to have received the final sacraments including the Apostolic Benediction from our FSSP priest shortly before his death a few months ago. This ws such a grace that it cannot be described.

  25. Horatius says:

    More of Pope Pius XII, _Pastor Angelicus_,

    An entire documentary movie, in which His Holiness participated.

  26. Thanks for the info on the movie, An American Mother. Does anyone one know when it was made? Is it available with subtitles?

  27. Tony from Oz says:

    What a beautiful and moving excerpt. The Rite of Extreme Unction was not carried out in its entirety here, as far as I’m aware – because the feet and breast etc are also annointed as well as the eyes and mouth – but the imagery of the rite is conveyed sufficiently to eloquently convey its significance.

    It is not clear whether Pius XII had been presiding at a Mass in the basilica, or whether it was, perhaps, a weekly general audience (which may have been held in St Peter’s, rather than in the square, back then). The absence of the flabella and the additional retinue which would be present at a papal Mass suggests that this was a general audience.

    That’s my take – but happy to hear other explanations from those more knowledgeable than I.

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