Fr. Nicolas Pinaud

May 18, 2004, is the 124th anniversary of the death of a man profoundly devoted to the Virgin Mary. He summed up his love for the Blessed Virgin in his episcopal motto: "Tuus sum ego–I am thine," and he had depicted on his episcopal coat of arms Our Lady of Chartres. He was a great servant of the Church. I am speaking of the Bishop of Poitiers, Cardinal Louis-Edouard Pie (1815-80).

Even after his death, we can nonetheless affirm that he was to speak again by the mouth of a pope–Pope St. Pius X.[1] As a matter of fact, we know that Monsignor Giuseppe Sarto became familiar with the French language by reading the works of Cardinal Pie. Is that really all he drew from them?

Pope Pius X never hid his admiration for Cardinal Pie, who was probably the greatest French bishop of the 19th century. The posthumous influence that he was to exercise on Pius X does even more credit to his teaching. On March 1, 1912, he gratified the cathedral of Poitiers with the title of minor basilica, a tribute which revealed what was in his heart, as Canon Etienne Catta remarks in his book The Social and Political Doctrine of Cardinal Pie.2 To Cardinal Pie, Pope Pius X rendered homage that day when he referred to St. Hilary, Doctor of the Church,

the intrepid champion of the divinity of Christ against the Arians, but alongside of him it is sweet to remember Louis-Edouard Pie, cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, who, like a second Hilary–alter Hilarius–avenged the integrity of the Faith against the modern Arians by his victorious eloquence.3

Canon Vigué recounts in the introduction to his Selected Writings of Cardinal Pie4 that one day a priest from the diocese of Poitiers had the honor of being received into the office of Pope Pius X.

"Oh! The diocese of Cardinal Pie," said the Holy Father, raising his arms as soon as he had heard the name of Poitiers. "I have the works of your cardinal right here, and for years hardly a day has gone by that I haven't read a few pages."

As he spoke, he took one of the volumes and put it in the hands of his visitors. These could tell, by the wear on the binding, that they must have belonged to the parish priest of Salzano or the spiritual director of the seminary of Treviso long before entering the Vatican.

"As soon as I can snatch a few moments," admitted Pius X on another occasion, "I read something by your great cardinal, Cardinal Pie. He is my mentor."5

Pope Pius X was imbued with the writings of the Bishop of Poitiers and many times, in his pontifical acts, the Pope was to cite him without giving his name. The four examples that follow will try to prove this fact: I) The famous "prophecy" concerning France's future; II) The first pages of his first encyclical, E Supremi Apostolatus; III) The prayer of Pope Pius X to the Immaculate Conception; IV) A final example; V) Conclusion.

"Prophecy for France"


This "prophecy" of Pope Pius X has been published often.6 It was pronounced November 29, 1911, during the allocution Vi Ringrazio, which was a response to Cardinal Falconio, after the creation of several new cardinals, among whom were numbered three Frenchmen distinguished in the battle against modernism: Cardinals Cabrieres, Dubillard, and Billot. The Pope's discourse was not an improvisation; it had been written out by the Pope beforehand. Cardinal Merry del Val testified to the fact before the bishop of Laval during an audience; the latter referred to it in his Religious Week [Semaine Religieuse], July 29, 1917. The letter itself, if not its spirit, had been drawn from the works of Cardinal Pie. Some support for this claim is found in Cardinal Pie's homily when he took possession of his titular see of Santa Maria della Vittoria, in Rome (Sept. 28, 1879)–the very homily printed in the last volume of his episcopal writings7 (Vol. X, pp. 63-64).

The thought of Cardinal Pie, which became a "prophecy" in the mouth of St. Pius X, was present in his mind when a parish priest, then bishop, and at last a cardinal, that is to say, during his entire life. This is proven by his sermon "On the Duty of Society as a Whole to Turn Itself Toward God" which he gave in the cathedral of Chartres (Mar. 1, 1846) and the funeral sermon for General de La Moriciere, delivered in the cathedral of Poitiers (Dec. 5, 1865) and published in the episcopal works Oeuvres de Monseigneur l'eveque de Poitiers. It is probably from here that Pius X drew his "prophetic inspiration."

What follows is the text of Cardinal Pie which was known to Pope Pius X, with his "prophecy" in the column facing it; then the main passages of Pius X's first encyclical, across from passages of Cardinal Pie's first pastoral letter which are most likely their origin. Finally, we reprint Pope Pius X's prayer to the Immaculate Virgin which reads very much like its probable source, Cardinal Pie's prayer to the Immaculate Virgin.

Comparison of the Texts


The "Prophecy" concerning France

This "prophecy" of Pope Pius X had been formulated a second time by Cardinal Pie (Dec. 5, 1864). It is clearly from this text that the Pope drew his inspiration.

Cardinal Pie

Text of Card. Pie (Dec. 5, 1864)8

God holds in his hands the hearts of peoples as well as the hearts of men. Courage, O France: thus you will return to your first vocation. Precious instincts, which yet escape you, but which are only asleep, will awaken in your breast.


And even as, like Saul, still breathing threats and slaughter on the road to Damascus, you seem perhaps to be engaged in the way of impiety and violence, suddenly a secret force will throw you to the ground, a blinding light will shine about you, and a voice will be heard: "Who art thou?" you will cry: "Quis es, Domine?' "I am Jesus, whom you pursue, whom you persecute: Ego sum Jesus quem tu persequeris." O France, it is hard for you to kick against the goad. To make war on God is not in your nature. Rise up, predestined race, vessel of election, and go, as in the past, carry my name to all peoples and to all the kings of the earth.

Pope St. Pius X

The allocution Vi Ringrazio
(Nov. 29, 1911)

What shall I say to you now, dear sons of France, who groan beneath the weight of persecution? The people who made an alliance with God at the baptismal font of Rheims will repent and return to its first vocation. Her faults will not remain unpunished, but she will never perish, the daughter of so many merits, so many sighs, and so many tears.

A day will come, and we hope it will not be far, when France, like Saul on the road to Damascus, will be surrounded by a heavenly light and will hear a voice repeating to her, "My daughter, why do you persecute me?" And to her response, "Who art thou, Lord?" the voice will reply, "I am Jesus, whom you persecute. It is hard for you to kick against the goad, because, in your obstinacy, you destroy yourself." And she, trembling and astonished, will say, "Lord, what wouldst thou have me do?" And He will say, "Rise up, wash the filth that has disfigured you, awaken in your heart those dormant affections and the pact of our alliance and go, eldest daughter of the Church, predestined nation, vessel of election, go, as in the past, and carry my name before all peoples and before the kings of the earth."


The First Pastoral Letter of Card. Pie
and the First Encyclical of Pope Pius X

Cardinal Pie

The first Pastoral Letter (Nov. 25, 1849)10

It is not for us to say with what pleading and with what tears we have asked that this chalice pass far from us...; but in submitting to a will stronger than our own, we have accepted a heavy charge, a labor of courage and sacrifice. For we are not so blind to the nature of things as to be dazzled by certain outer appearances. We cannot mistake the fact that human society is prey to an evil more intimate, more profound, and more destructive than can be expressed in words.

The logic of passions, long held in check, retained in its advance, has finally produced the inevitable conclusions of the principles posed by the previous centuries. We live in the fatal period of consequences–of extreme consequences. Each day the last hopes melt away; the same terrible problems, pushed aside for a moment, present themselves before us. Any human solution is henceforth impossible. There remains only one alternative: submit ourselves to God, or perish.

If you ask me at this moment who we are, to what party we belong, I will answer without hesitation. We are, and we will be among you the man of God. We will always be of the party of God. We will engage all of our efforts, and consecrate our entire life, to the service of the divine cause. And if we were to adopt one rule of action, it would be this: "Instaurare omnia in Christo–To restore all things in Christ" (Eph. 1:10).

...What essentially characterizes the modern age is that the world has now been separated into two parties, along a clearer dividing-line and according to a more frank opposition than at any other age, that is, the party of God, and the party of man–or if you prefer, of the prideful genius that drives him. The struggle between man and God had never been more open or more direct. No other generation had broken its every pact with heaven, or so absolutely. No society had ever spoken to God with such resolution or audacity, telling Him: "Begone!" Man had never set himself up as a god on earth with greater insolence. He thought he had already vanquished. The old dream of human pride was thus to become a reality: man was to be his own god.

One could easily have believed that the son of perdition, announced by St. Paul, had appeared on the earth, or at least that all the elements he was to embody awaited only their unification in a single person to constitute the Antichrist named by the Scriptures. Vowed to the most constant opposition, adversary of all belief and of any affirmation of truth, man had also toppled all that bore the character of the divinity, or any resemblance thereof. And if the idea of a god still remained, it was because man, putting himself at the place of his Creator, had made the universe into a temple, in which he played the god.






The struggle was unequal, and we knew which side would carry off the victory and which know defeat. The more man seemed to triumph, the more surely we predicted his fall, and, to speak as do the holy books, one of those catastrophes whose blast long echoes in the ears of those who hear.


History had taught us that God hides Himself for a certain time, and that He seems at times to retreat before His enemies, but that these apparent defeats are of the moment, and are only the wise and cunning tactics of Providence, after which He takes back the position and delivers the final blow. More than once it seemed to us that the heavenly spirits, weary of the long success of the triumphant rebellion, adopted the language of the prophets and said, "Arise, O God, and may it not be given to man to prevail."

That is why, notwithstanding the great work of social reconstruction undertaken by so many architects at once, we will suffer in spite of ourselves the consequences of the sins of our fathers, so long as we have not rebuilt, in the heart of the nation, the temple they overturned. Men speak of a great party founded in the name of order and compromise. Only one party can save the world, the party of God. There alone is salvation. Renounce our dreams of independence from the Supreme Being, and submit to Him. Make no mistake. The burning question, and the question that troubles the world, is not between man and man; it is between man and God. If we were to adopt a single rule of action, it would be "to re-establish all things in Jesus Christ." Jesus Christ! Ah! We are profoundly moved as we utter this sacred name among you for the first time, this saving name that we will have so often to repeat. "For other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid by the hand of God; which is Christ Jesus" (I Cor. 3:11).



The God whose minister–whose ambassador–we shall be among you is not that vague, complacent God whose tutelary authority is invoked by today's materialism, taking fright and wishing to defend its pleasures and its idols against the new wave of invaders, firmly resolved to pay Him no tribute in return, and certainly not to offer Him any sacrifice. Our God is He who gave His law to men, who came down to earth and who spoke in the person of Jesus Christ, His Son and His envoy. Outside of Jesus Christ, there is no other Messias, or Revelation, or Savior.


Both God and Jesus Christ are to be found by us only in the Catholic Church. Whoever does not listen to the Church, is in our eyes worse than an infidel.


Therefore, to replace all these things under the legitimate empire of God, of Jesus Christ, and of the Church; everywhere combat that sacrilege which puts man in the place of God, and which is the chief crime of the modern age; resolve anew, by the precepts or the counsels of the Gospel and by the institutions of the Church, all the problems that the Gospel and the Church had already resolved–education, family, property, power; to re-establish a Catholic balance between the diverse conditions within society; to pacify the earth and give citizens to heaven: such is our mission.





L. E. Pie

Pope St. Pius X

The first encyclical E Supremi Apostolatus (Oct. 4, 1903)11

I need not remind you with what tears and ardent prayers we endeavored to turn aside

the heavy charge of the supreme pontificate. Fully conscious of our weakness, we dreaded to take on a work so replete with difficulty, and yet so imperative.



We felt a kind of terror when we called to mind the tragic condition of humanity today. Can anyone be unaware of the profound and serious illness from which human society suffers–now so much more than in the past–and which, worsening day by day and eating away at its very substance, drags it down to ruin? This illness, as you well know, is apostasy and the rejection of God; and surely there is nothing that leads more inevitably to disaster, according to the word of the prophet, "Behold, those who depart far from you will perish."

We declare in all truth that we desire to be, in the midst of human societies, nothing other than the minister of that God who has invested us with His authority–and with the divine assistance, we shall be only that. His interests remain our interests; to consecrate our strength and our life to them: such is our unshakable resolution. That is why, if one asks us for a motto revealing the very depths of our soul, we will give none but this: "To restore all things in Christ."

...in the face of the impious war that has been declared and that continues to be waged against God from nearly every side. In our day it is only too true, "the nations have trembled and the peoples have meditated folly" against their Creator, and this cry has become nearly a commonplace among His enemies: "Depart from us." From there springs, from nearly every side, a total rejection of any respect for God. From there spring those manners of living, public as well as private, without the least regard for His sovereignty. What is more, there is no effort and no artifice that is not employed in the attempt to abolish the memory of Him, and even the very notion of God.


He who considers these things may well fear that such a perversion of mind be the beginning of those evils announced for the end of time and as it were their introduction upon the earth, and that truly the son of perdition of whom the Apostle speaks (II Thess. 2:2) is already among us. So great is the boldness and so violent the rage with which men everywhere hurl themselves to the assault of religion, attack the dogmas of the Faith, and labor with obstinacy to destroy all relation of man to the divinity! On the other hand–and this is the hallmark of the Antichrist, in the very words of the same Apostle–man, with an unspeakable temerity, has usurped the throne of the Creator, raising himself above all that bears the name of God. And this to such a degree that, powerless to eradicate in himself the notion of God, he nonetheless shakes off the yoke of His majesty and dedicates the temple of the visible world to himself, where he wishes to receive the adoration of his fellow creatures. "He is enthroned in the temple of God, where he presides as if he himself were God."

No sane mind can doubt what will be the outcome of this war waged on God by frail mortals. Man is surely able to abuse his liberty if he wishes and violate the rights and the supreme authority of the Creator, but the victory will always belong to the Creator. But my words fall short. Catastrophe threatens all the closer precisely when man waxes more audacious in the hope of triumph.

But this confidence does not dispense us from hastening the divine work, insofar as it depends on us, and not only by untiring prayer: "Arise, O Lord, and do not allow man to prevail in his force," but also by demanding the fullness of God's empire over man and all creation.




We know that many, driven by the love of peace–that is, the tranquility of order–come together in associations, forming what they call "the party of order." Alas! Vain hopes and wasted labors! There is only one force of order capable of re-establishing tranquility in the midst of universal turmoil–the party of God. It is therefore that party that we must promote, and to this association that we must attract the greatest possible number of adherents, if we have public security at heart.

Nonetheless, and whatever be our efforts to realize it, this return of nations to the respect of God's sovereign majesty can only come about through Jesus Christ. Indeed, the Apostle warns us that "other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid; which is Christ Jesus" (I Cor. 3:11).

From this it follows that restoring all things in Christ and bringing men back to God's obedience are one and the same thing. And that is why the goal toward which all our efforts should tend is to bring the human race back under the empire of Christ. This accomplished, man will find himself led back to God, by that very fact.

We do not refer to a lifeless God, unconcerned with the ways of man, like the one invented by materialists in their foolish imaginings, but a living and true God, three Persons in the unity of a single nature, Author of the universe, extending His infinite Providence to all things, and finally a very just Law-Maker who punishes the guilty and ensures the recompense of virtue.

Now what is the way that gives us access to Jesus Christ? She is before our eyes–the Church. As St. John Chrysostom rightly tells us, "The Church is your hope; the Church is your salvation; the Church is your refuge."

That is why Christ established her after having acquired her by the price of His blood. That is why He confided His doctrine and the precepts of His law to her, at the same time bestowing on her the treasures of divine grace for the sanctification and the salvation of mankind.

It is a question of leading human societies, strayed far from the wisdom of Christ, back to the obedience of the Church; the Church, in turn, will submit them to Christ, and Christ to God.

First and foremost, if the results are to match our desires, we must employ every means and consecrate every effort to uprooting entirely that monstrous and detestable iniquity proper to the present age and by which man puts himself in the place of God; to re-establish in their former dignity the very holy laws and counsels of the Gospel; to proclaim far and wide the truths handed down by the Church concerning the sanctity of marriage, the education of youth, the possession and the use of temporal goods, the duties of those who govern; finally, to re-establish the just balance among the diverse classes of society according to Christian laws and institutions.

Pope Pius X


The prayer of Pope Pius X for the
Novena to the Immaculate Conception

Cardinal Pie12

O spotless Virgin, you were pleasing to the Lord, and you were His Mother only because you were immaculate in all things; immaculate in your flesh as in your soul; immaculate in your faith as in your charity.

Indeed, the great blasphemer, the great cause of damnation, is the serpent, against whom was pronounced the first of damnations.

And you, O Mary conceived without sin, thou art the woman of the promise who has crushed the head of the serpent. I say it, "of the serpent"–and it was foretold–who never ceases to lay traps for thy heel, and who yet continues in his enmity against thy race. But while that head which raises itself beneath thy victorious foot, hisses damnation and blasphemy through every age, thou, O Virgin, O Mother, O Queen, thou lettest rise toward the heavenly throne the accent of thy all-powerful supplication. O Mary Immaculate, we join our prayer to thine this day. And the Church, and Rome, and Christian France will once again sing the hymn of deliverance, of victory, and of peace.

Pope Pius X

Most holy Virgin, who wast pleasing to the Lord and who became His Mother, Immaculate Virgin in thy body, in thy soul, in thy faith, and in thy love, have pity on us, and look with kindness on us, so miserable, who implore thy powerful protection.

Alas! The infernal serpent, against whom was cast the first damnation, continues to combat and to tempt the poor sons of Eve.

O thou, our blessed Mother, our queen and our advocate, thou who crushest the head of the enemy from the first moment of thy conception, accept our prayers, and, united as in one heart, we beseech thee. Present them before the throne of God in order that we never allow ourselves to be taken by the traps laid before us, but that we all reach the port of salvation; and that in the midst of so many dangers, the Church and Catholic society sing once again the hymn of deliverance, of victory, and of peace.


A Final Example

Cardinal Pie

Homily preached on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of his episcopal consecration (Nov.25,1864)13


Hear this maxim, O you, Catholics full of temerity, who so quickly adopt the ideas and the language of your time, you who speak of reconciling the faith and of reconciling the Church with the modern spirit and with the new law. And you who accept with so much confidence the most dangerous pursuits of what our age so pridefully labels "Science," see to what extent you are straying from the program set out by the great Apostle, "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding the profane novelties of words, and oppositions of knowledge falsely so-called" (I Tim. 6:20). But take heed. With such temerities, one is soon led farther than he first had thought. And in placing themselves on the slope of profane novelties–in obeying the currents of so-called science–many have lost the Faith.

Have you not often been saddened, and taken fright, my venerable brothers, on hearing the language of certain men, who believe themselves still to be sons of the Church, men who still practice occasionally as Catholics and who often approach the Lord's Table? Do you still believe them to be sons, do you still believe them to be members of the Church, those who, wrapping themselves in such vague phrases as modern aspirations and the force of progress and civilization, proclaim the existence of a "consciousness of the laity," of a secular and political conscience opposed to the "conscience of the Church," against which they assume the right to react, for its correction and renewal? Ah! So many passengers, and even pilots, who, believing themselves to be yet in the barque, and playing with profane novelties and the lying science of their time, have already sunk and are in the abyss.

Pope St. Pius X

The letter Il Gravore Dolore on the occasion of the creation of new cardinals (May 27, 1914)14


Alas! We are living in an age when men welcome and adopt with great ease certain ideas of reconciling the Faith with the modern spirit; ideas that lead much farther than one would imagine, not only to the weakening, but to the complete loss of the Faith. One is no longer surprised to hear men who delight in the most vague expressions of modern aspiration, of the force of progress and of civilization; who delight in affirming the existence of a conscience of the laity, a political conscience opposed to the conscience of the Church, against which they assume the right to react for its correction and renewal.



It is not unheard-of to meet individuals who express doubts and uncertainty about truths, and even obstinately cling to manifest errors, a hundred times condemned, and who are nonetheless convinced that they have never left the Church, since they sometimes accomplish Catholic duties. Oh! How many navigators, how many pilots, and–God forbid–how many captains, confident in profane novelties and in the lying science of the time, rather than arriving at the port, have already capsized.




People can talk all they like of the Rights of Man: there are two of them that must never be forgotten. Every man is born with the right to death and the right to hell (Cardinal Pie).15

When he first was made a bishop, Giuseppe Sarto took on his charge with resolution animated by that hope which was symbolized in his coat of arms–an anchor cast into a stormy sea, lit up by a star. It was a passage from St. Paul (Heb. 6:18-19) that inspired his choice. Perhaps he added the lion when he became the successor of St. Mark's in Venice. As for the motto of his pontificate, "To restore all things in Christ," he had already taken it as patriarch, and there is every indication that it was the motto of his entire episcopate.

Cardinal Pie was a great figure. Now, more than ever in this battle waged between the Church and the Revolution, he remains the man who dominates the situation. He is a light, a standard-bearer, a leader worthy of a rank of honor among those fathers of our generation whom we should praise, whose counsels we should follow, whose example we should imitate, and upon whose teachings we should meditate. If our heart's ambition is to serve the sacred cause of God and His Holy Church in the troubled times in which we are living we can benefit from placing ourselves at the school of this master. (Praise of Cardinal Pie expressed by Cardinal Billot on the 100th anniversary of his birth [Sept. 26, 1915])16

Before closing this study, I cannot resist telling you the story of a conversation between Msgr. Pie and the emperor Napoleon III (Mar. 5, 1859),17 following the account of Canon Etienne Catta in The Social and Political Doctrine of Cardinal Pie.18

The audience lasted 55 minutes. The emperor himself had brought the conversation over to politics. He dismissed all negative interpretations of his Italian intervention.19 He only wished well to the pontifical government, and desired to "render it more popular, showing Europe that France had not maintained an army of occupation in Rome in order to give its stamp to corruption."

Msgr. Pie asked if he might express his thoughts frankly, Napoleon III granted the request, far from imagining the line of argument that was about to drive him into a corner.

"Since Your Majesty deigns to hear my opinion," said the bishop, "you will also permit my surprise at the scruples that make you fear all appearance of giving your stamp to corruption by the presence of our army of occupation in Rome. Surely, I am aware that there are abuses everywhere. What government can claim to escape them entirely? But I dare say that nowhere are there fewer abuses than in the city and in the states governed by the pope. May it please Your Majesty to consider Constantinople and Turkey, on the other hand. May you draw a comparison and permit me to ask what our glorious Crimean expedition was doing there?20 Is it not there rather than to Rome that France went to give her stamp to corruption?"

The secretary of Msgr. Pie, who was taking down the account of the audience by dictation, recounts that at that moment, "the eyes of the Emperor, ordinarily half-closed, were raised for a moment on his audacious interviewer."

"Ah! Sire, when one considers that, during 11 centuries, the policy of Catholic Europe was to combat the Turks, how can one avoid a certain astonishment seeing the sovereign of a Catholic country providing support for the Ottoman power, and embarking, at great cost, to ensure its independence? Indeed, am I not justified in asserting that such an action was precisely putting the stamp on corruption? I ask you, whom are we protecting? There is a man, at Constantinople–or rather a being that I prefer not to qualify–who eats, out of a trough of gold, 200 million francs [about 37 million U.S. dollars–Ed.] earned by the sweat of Catholics. He eats them with his 800 legitimate wives, his 36 sultans and his 750 harem-girls, not counting the court favorites, the sons-in-law and their wives. And it was to perpetuate and consolidate such a state of affairs that we embarked for the East! It was to ensure its security that we threw away two billion francs [about 370 million U.S. dollars–Ed.], 68 superior officers, 350 young men, the flower of our noble families, and 200,000 Frenchmen. In view of all that, are we really here discussing the corruption of pontifical Rome?"

During this discourse, the emperor twisted his long moustache, and the bishop observed that he pulled them lower as the question became more embarrassing. Msgr. Pie continued:

"Excuse me, Sire, but not only did we say to this Turk, 'Continue to wallow in your age-old mire as you have done in the past. I guarantee your pleasures and I will not permit anyone to lay a hand on your empire,' but we added, 'Great Sultan, until now, the pope, the sovereign of Rome, had presided at the councils of Europe. Well, now we are going to have a European Council. The pope will not be there, but you will come, you who have never been part of it before. Not only will you be there, but we will perform before you the trial of the absent old man. And we will give you the pleasure of seeing us describe and submit to your judgment all the so-called corruption of his government!'"

"Truly, Sire, is that not what has taken place?"

Seeing the bishop's animation, the emperor had drawn closer. He listened spellbound, passing his hand over his forehead. Suddenly, he changed the direction of the conversation:

"But honestly, Monsignor, have I not given abundant proof of my goodwill toward religion? The Restoration of the monarchy itself did not do more than I have done."

With this remark the way was open, and the bishop, inspired, could express his own idea of what Christian politics should be, going straight to the principles that guide it.

"I am most eager to do justice to Your Majesty's religious dispositions, and I can quite appreciate, Sire, the services you have rendered to Rome and the Church, particularly in the first years of your government.

"Perhaps the Restoration did not do more than you. But allow me to add that neither the Restoration, nor you, have done for God what should have been done. Neither of you has raised up His throne. Neither of you has denied the principles of the Revolution, whose practical consequences you continue to fight because the social gospel that inspires the State is still the Declaration of the Rights of Man, which, Sire, is nothing other than the formal negation of the rights of God.

"Indeed, it is among the rights of God to rule over States as over individuals. It was for this alone that our Lord came upon the earth. He ought to reign here by inspiring our laws, sanctifying our morals, enlightening our teaching, directing our counsel, and ordering the actions of governments as of the governed. Everywhere that Jesus Christ does not reign, there is disorder and decadence.

"It is my duty to tell you that He does not reign among us and that our Constitution is not that of a Christian and a Catholic State–far from it. Our public law establishes that the Catholic religion is that of the majority of the French people, but it adds that all other religions have a right to an equal protection. Is that not tantamount to proclaiming that the Constitution equally protects truth and error? Well, Sire, do you know what Jesus Christ responds to governments who incur the guilt of such a contradiction? Jesus Christ, King of heaven and earth, answers them. 'I, too, O governments, who succeed yourselves the one upon the other, as you overthrow one another, I, too, grant you equal protection. I granted this protection to the Bourbon king, and the same to the Republic, and to you as well I accord the same protection.'"

The emperor stopped the bishop.

"But do you still imagine that in our day such a thing could exist, and that the moment has arrived to establish the exclusively religious reign that you demand? Do you not rather think, Monsignor, that such an action would unleash the most passionate opposition?"

The bishop of Poitiers had not spoken of an "exclusively religious reign," he had simply brought to light the divine prerogative to dominate every reign. The essential of the objection consisted in the "political expedience" that is always put first. He answered it with this solemn reply:

"Sire, when great men of politics like Your Majesty object that the moment has not come, I can only bow before their judgment, because I am not a great man of politics. But I am a bishop, and as a bishop, I answer them. 'The moment has not come for Jesus Christ to reign. In that case, the moment has not come for governments to endure.'"21

If only God would accord us, not a half-dozen, but a single shepherd of this mettle, and the quality of the air we breathe would be greatly improved.


Fr. Nicolas Pinaud was ordained for the Society of Saint Pius X in 1993. He is currently headmaster of the Society's school at Domezain, France, Ecole Saint Michel Garico'its. The article was translated into English exclusively for Angelus Press. Edited by Fr. Kenneth Novak. Taken from Le Donjon (No. 45, May 2000) the bulletin of the Society of Saint Pius X for the Basque country, the Landes, Bigorre, and Gascony. It was revised and completed by the author for publication in Sel de la Terre, No. 42, Autumn 2002, pp. 206-21.

1. June 2, 1835-August 20, 1914, pope from 1903-14. Defunctus adhuc loquitur refers to the sacrifice of Abel which still rises to heaven after his murder: "and by it he being dead yet speaketh" (Heb. 11:4).

2. La doctrine politique et sociale du cardinal Pie (Paris: Nouvelles Editions Latines, 1959) p. 362.

3. Actes de S.S. Pie X (Bonne Press), VII, 188.

4. Pages choisies du cardinal Pie (Paris-Poitiers: Oudin, 1916) 2 vol., Introduction, p. xi.

5. See also René Bazin, St. Pie X, 1928 edition, pp. 57-58.

6. You can read it in the Bulletin diocesain de Bayonne, December 1, 1918, pp. 597-598; No. 28 of Itineraires published it, p. 42; in the same review, Fr. Calmel cites it as well, in his article "Brumes du revelationisme" (No. 181, p. 182); Fr. Rifan referred to it in his sermon during the day of "BBR 1998"; Francis-Marie Algoud also cites it in Annex XVII, p. 480, of his book Histoire de la volonte de perversion de Vintelligence et des moeurs; and the 15th centenary of the baptism of Clovis, in 1996, provided a new occasion for a number of journals to reprint this prophecy, such as Sel de la Terre, No. 17, pp. 86-87.

7. Oeuvres de Monseigneur l'eveque de Poitiers (Paris-Poitiers: Oudin, 1886-1879) 1st edition, Vols. I to IX. The 10th edition was published by Leday, Paris, and contained l0 vols. (1890-1894).

8. Ibid., t. V, pp. 506-507.

9. Documents pontificaux de S.S. saint Pie X (Versailles: Courrier de Rome, 1993), Vol.11, pp. 396-397.

10. Oeuvres de Monseigneur l'eveque de Poitiers, I, 96-119.

11. Documents pontificaux de S.S. saint Pie X, Vol.1, pp.33 ff.

12. Oeuvres de Monseigneur I'eveque de Poitiers, VII, 68.

13. Ibid., V, 376-377.

14. Documents pontificaux de S.S. saint Pie X, Vol.11, pp.575-577.

15. Oeuvres de Monseigneur l'eveque de Poitiers, V, 154.

16. Published in Nos. 40 and 41 of the Bulletin catholique of the diocese of Montauban, October 2 and 9, 1915, pp. 339, 342.

17. Napoleon III was proclaimed emperor November 7, 1852, following the coup d'état of December 2, 1851, remaining emperor until his imprisonment by the Prussians at Sedan, August 30, 1870. The empire was overthrown a few days later and a republic was proclaimed, September 4, by Favre, Gambetta, and Ferry.

18. La Doctrine politique et sociale du cardinal Pie (Paris: Nouvelles Editions Latines, 1959), ch. XIII: "L'eveque, l'empereur and la question romaine," pp. 301-304.

19. Beginning in June 1849 (when Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, future Napoleon III, was president of the Republic), France had sent an expeditionary force into Italy–the Papal States–to support the pope who was being attacked by Italian "republican" forces. The French troops occupied Rome from July 3, 1849, to December 11, 1866. However, Napoleon III–himself a former carbonaro [Freemason]–wished to maintain his alliance with the House of Piedmont, [desirous of a secular, united Italy] and little by little weakened his policy of support for the papacy, letting the Piedmontese conquer Italy and invade the Pontifical States in 1860-61.

20.The Crimean expedition (1854-55) was composed of an alliance of French, English, Piedmontese, and Turkish troops, against the Russians.

21. These words were repeated before the French Chamber of Deputies, June 2, 1958, by a deputy, Mr. Guy Jarrosson. See the Journal Officiel, June 3, 1958.