Pope Pius XII on Muintir na Tíre
Posted by shane
The following message was sent by Pope Pius XII to Canon John Hayes on the occasion of the Muintir na Tíre Rural Week at Roscrea, August, 1954.
We have learned with pleasure of the praiseworthy work being accomplished by the organisation which your apostolic zeal prompted you to found 17 years ago.
Every effort to put Christian social teaching into practice is deserving of commendation and encouragement, not merely because the children of light, as Our predecessor of happy memory Pius XI pointed out, must not allow themselves to be surpassed in zeal by the children of darkness, but also because of the very real benefits that accrue to the community from the application of the Church’s social doctrine.
The organisation of which you are chairman rightly looks upon the parish as the basic unit of a Christian social order and We have noted with satisfaction that this is the subject chosen for discussion at your forthcoming rural week.
In order to promote the practice of justice and charity in each one’s own immediate surroundings, Muintir na Tíre fosters a spirit of neighbourliness and of self-reliance and it incites individuals to devote themselves to the good of the community even at a cost of personal sacrifice.
When addressing a group of farmers some years ago, We Ourselves referred to the need for that friendly co-operation and “mutual help, not only in the circle of one’s own family, but also between one family and another, between one home and another,” and We stressed the fact that the most important and most essential element of a genuine rural civilisation is a true religious spirit.
As pointed out by Our predecessor of holy memory, Pius X, whom We were recently privileged to proclaim a Saint, the restoration of all things in Christ entails “taking to heart the interests of the people and especially of the working and agricultural classes, not only by instilling the principle of religion into the hearts of all but also by endeavouring to dry their tears, to sweeten their sorrows and to improve their economic conditions with well-ordered measures.”
Faithful to that admonition, Muintir na Tíre sponsors projects of an economic, educational and recreational character. Apart from their other advantages, these help to make life in the country more interesting and more attractive, and in that way they serve to stem the present day exodus of youth from rural areas towards towns and cities at home and abroad with all the consequent spiritual and moral dangers.
On more than one occasion We have emphasised the exalted dignity and privilege of those who live and work on the land. We invoke the special blessings of Almighty God upon the work of Muintir na Tíre on behalf of the population of rural Ireland, and it is Our prayer that the meritorious efforts to achive its noble ideals may be crowned with an ever-increasing measure of success.
As an earnest of that Divine favour and as a mark of Our paternal interest, We impart from Our hearts to you, beloved son, to the members of the National Executive of Muintir na Tíre, to those attending the Rural Week, and to all who collaborate in the work of the organisation, Our special Apostolic Benediction.