The Nobility’s Duty: To Avoid Sinking into Anonymity; To Resist the Influence of Modern Egalitarianism

April 22, 2013

Kaiser Karl I von Österreich, Kaiserin Zita & family

Pius XII paternally insists that the nobility not let itself be diluted in the anonymity into which the indifference and hostility of many, spurred on by crude modern egalitarianism, seek to drag it. He likewise points out another relevant mission: By cultivating and disseminating its living traditions, the nobility should help preserve the values of each people from a cosmopolitanism that erodes their distinctiveness. “To practice virtue and use the gifts proper to your class for the common good, to excel in professions and activities promptly embraced, to protect the nation from external contaminations: These are the recommendations We feel We must make to you at the start of this New Year.”(1958 Allocution to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility.)

The family of Archduke Charles of Austria, painting by Johann Ender

As he closes this expressive Allocution with paternal blessings, the Pontiff makes special mention of the continuity of the nobility. He reminds the noble families present that the grave and honorable duty of continuing the most worthy traditions of the nobility lies with their children: “That the Almighty may strengthen your resolve and fulfill Our desires, answering the prayers We have thus made to Him, We impart to all of you, to your families, and especially to your children, future successors to your worthiest traditions, Our Apostolic blessing.” (1958 Allocution to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility.)



Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), 46.


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