|Eugenio Pacelli, dit Pie 12 (1876-1958)|
To mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Catholic Action of Italian girls came to ask his advice, the Holy Father addressed the following speech on the transformation of the social status of women in the modern world, the dangers it exposes him and training it requires.
(…) In faith, if it is a living faith, carry moral purity.
About the mystery of life and its natural sources must lead youth to holy thoughts, remembering that life is work of the Creator and recognizing that Christ has raised marriage to the dignity of a sacrament, and his remains in the womb of the Virgin sanctified motherhood and gave it such high praise.
From there you can deduce what should be the attitude strong, active, constant of the Catholic girl against publications and performances which did find audacious sensuality, intrigue and violations of marital fidelity, ambiguous words, when these are not impudent and provocative scenes.
To oppose to such events, at least in many cases, are at the same time a transgression wise laws of the state, there is always a powerful weapon: the absolute abstention.
If ever your work, your apostolate with youth, your zeal and prudence got this, you remporteriez a great victory that would crown your efforts to safeguard and the sanctity of marriage and thus for the good even in your country.
Educate therefore Catholic girlhood in this high and holy dignity which lies so strong and solid preservation of the physical and spiritual integrity. This virtuous and indomitable dignity and pride is a great price for the mind that does not let enslave; which reinforces the moral force of women, which, in its entirety, will give to her husband for the foundation of a family or to God; and sees its merit and glory in the supernatural and eternal vocation, as St. Paul already wrote to the first Christians: ” Empti estis pretio magno. Glorificate and portate Deum in corpore Vestro ” , “you were bought at a very high price. Therefore glorify God and wear it in your body “(1 Corinthians 6:20).
Dignity and freedom of the woman who is never done slave, not even in fashion ! This is a delicate subject, but urgent, where your relentless action promise of happy and beneficial success.
However, your zeal against clothes and immodest dress should not only be a condemnation, but a building practically showing the feminine world how a girl can harmonize well in his dress and behavior, the higher laws of virtue with standards of hygiene and elegance.
It is hoped that many of the Italian women, those in the least, and there are many, who are kept healthy thought and heart, will soon and will not hesitate to follow your example. (…)
Pius XII, Address to the young girls of Italian Catholic Action , April 24, 1943.