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Novimus Nos

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Novimus Nos (January 20, 1956) is an Apostolic Letter of Pope Pius XII to the Catholic Bishops of the Oriental Rite, whose dioceses are devastated after years of persecution. The letter commemorates the 1000th anniversary of the conversion of Saint Olga, which was the beginning of Christianity in Russia. [1]

As the letter was written, the Vatican was not aware, that several of the addressees were already deported to Siberia, and a total of five Catholic Bishops killed. [2] The Pope describes the heroic and faithful life of this great Russian woman, Saint Olga, who led her people out of the barbarianism of her time. She faced endless problems, but was strong enough to overcome them, by trusting in God rather than humans. [3] Her nephew Saint Vladimir continued in her spirit with the same love of Christ, and, as described in the encyclical Orientales Omnes, he maintained unity and cordial relations with the Holy See. Those two saints are real examples of Christian life under difficult circumstances.

Pope Pius XII congratulates the Russian people to this great historic figure Olga on her 1000th. anniversary , quoting the ancient Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero: Our fatherland is more precious than we are. [4] The Pope continues, but the heavenly fatherland is even more precious, since it lasts for all eternity. [5] Although the present situation is anything but promising, the Pope encourages not to lose faith, courage or unity. The quit voices of all those, who are mistreated and in chains, powerfully testify Christ Crucified. God permits ridicule, and at times waits with His reply to test and purify His faithful. But because He is just, He will surely accept the prayers of those who are persecuted because of Him. Pope Pius asks his bishops, to fully trust in the Lord, and to turn with instant prayers to the saints of the Russian people. Persecutions will thus end and the Russian people will experience better times. In this hope, the Holy Father concludes with his Apostolic Blessings. [6]


  • Acta Apostolicae Sedis (AAS) Roma, Vaticano 1939-1952
  • Novimus Nos, Acta Apostolicae Sedis AAS 1952, 505
  • Richard Cardinal Cushing, Pope Pius XII, St. Paul Editions, Boston, 1959
  • Alberto Giovanetti, Pio XII parla alla Chiesa del Silenzio, Editrice Ancona, Milano, 1959, German Translation, Der Papst spricht zur Kirche des Schweigens,Paulus Verlag, Recklinghausen, 1959


  1. AAS 1956, 260
  2. Giovannetti, 131
  3. Novimus Nos 2
  4. Marcus Tullius Cicero, De finibus, III, 19
  5. Novimus Nos 5
  6. Novimus Nos 10

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