Monday, 27 June 2011

The Papal blessing for stroppy journalists

Papal wit but which Pope?

This story has been attributed to several Popes but I believe that it was Pope Pius XII who was the Pontiff concerned. However, since starting this post I see that the story has several quite distinct versions. Here's my one.

A very anti Papal, anti Catholic journalist (possibly from the Bitter Pill?) attended a Papal Audience and very provocatively asked the Holy Father for his blessing.

Without changing pace Pope Pius blessed him using the words:

"Ab illo benedicaris + in cuius honore cremaberis. Amen"

Which, is the blessing reserved for incense and in English it reads.....

"Be ye blessed by Him + in whose honour thou art to burn. Amen"


  1. LOL. I had heard this years ago, but that the blessing was given to an Anglican clergyman by Leo XIII. Just shows how a good story can get around.

  2. He would rather report in hell than serve in heaven?

  3. Yes, I am almost sure it was Leo XIII. The Anglican must have done or said something that Prompted the pope to do that. At least he believed that there is no salvation outside the Church.

  4. This is also attributed to Pius IX and I don't recall the name of the individual receiving the fire charged blessing.

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  6. As far as I remember it was some protestan (Anglican I belive)"Clergy" who asked for a Special blessing the Pope says that he could not give protestants a special blessing but they insisited so he blessed them as above.