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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
Pope Pius IX (+ 1878) was walking alone one day in the Vatican halls. In one of them he noticed a stranger looking as if in ecstasy at a beautiful painting by Raphael. The pope stopped and observed the man who seemed to be an artist. The young man saw the Pope and made a deep bow. The Holy Father said to him with a smile, “You must be a painter, my son?” The answer made it clear to Pius IX that he had come to Rome to perfect himself in painting, but did not have the means to enter the Academy of Fine Arts. The pope promised him to pay for his studies himself. The young man replied with fear: “But, Holiness, I am a Protestant! – That doesn’t matter,” said the Holy Father with a benevolent smile, “the Academy of Fine Arts will not refuse you for that.”
Pius IX was riding in a carriage outside Rome one day when he saw an old Jew who had fallen unconscious on the side of the road. The Pope immediately stopped his carriage, got out, approached the poor man, asked what had happened to him and why he was left in such a state. He was told, “He’s just an old Jew.” These harsh words pained Pius IX, who had the Jew relieved, put him in his crew and had him taken to his home. When he returned to his palace, he sent his own doctor to the poor Jew’s home.
It is not Christian to refuse help to one’s neighbor because he is not of the same religion or nationality.