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Pope Pius XII ( it, Pio XII), born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (; 2 March 18769 October 1958), was head of the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Catholic Church
and sovereign of the
Vatican City State Vatican City (), officially the Vatican City State ( it, Stato della Città del Vaticano; la, Status Civitatis Vaticanae),—' * german: Vatikanstadt, cf. '—' (in Austria: ') * pl, Miasto Watykańskie, cf. '—' * pt, Cidade do Vatican ...

Vatican City State
from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958. Before his election to the papacy, he served as secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, papal nuncio to Germany, and
Cardinal Secretary of State The Secretary of State of His Holiness ( it, Segretario di Stato di Sua Santità), commonly known as the Cardinal Secretary of State, presides over the Holy See's Secretariat of State (Vatican), Secretariat of State, which is the oldest and mos ...
, in which capacity he worked to conclude treaties with European and Latin American nations, such as the ''
Reichskonkordat The Reichskonkordat ("Concordat between the Holy See and the German Reich") is a treaty negotiated between the Vatican and the emergent Nazi Germany. It was signed on 20 July 1933 by Cardinal Secretary of State Pius XII, Eugenio Pacelli, who later ...
'' with
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was ...

Nazi Germany
. While the Vatican was officially neutral during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, the ''Reichskonkordat'' and his leadership of the Catholic Church during the war remain the subject of controversy—including allegations of public silence and inaction about the fate of the Jews. Pius employed diplomacy to aid the victims of the Nazis during the war and, through directing the Church to provide discreet aid to Jews and others, saved hundreds of thousands of lives. Pius maintained links to the German Resistance, and shared intelligence with the Allies. His strongest public condemnation of genocide was, however, considered inadequate by the Allied Powers, while the Nazis viewed him as an Allied sympathizer who had dishonoured his policy of Vatican neutrality. After the war, he advocated peace and reconciliation, including lenient policies towards former
Axis Axis may refer to: Politics *Axis of evil The phrase "axis of evil" was first used by U.S. President George W. Bush in his State of the Union address on January 29, 2002, less than five months after the 9/11 attacks, and often repeated t ...
and Axis-satellite nations. During his papacy, the Church issued the Decree against Communism, declaring that Catholics who profess
Communist Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...

Communist
doctrine are to be
excommunicated Excommunication is an institutional act of religious censure A censure is an expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism. In parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is the accepted rules Rule or ruling may refer to: Hum ...

excommunicated
as
apostates Apostasy (; grc-gre, ἀποστασία ''apostasía'', "a defection or revolt") is the formal religious disaffiliation, disaffiliation from, abandonment of, or renunciation of a religion by a person. It can also be defined within the broader ...
from the Christian faith. The Church experienced severe persecution and mass deportations of Catholic clergy in the
Eastern Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' ...
. He explicitly invoked ''
ex cathedra Papal infallibility is a dogma Dogma is a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by the members of a group without being questioned or doubted. It may be in the form of an official system of principle, principles or doctrine, doctrines ...
''
papal infallibility Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3  ...
with the
dogma Dogma is a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by the members of a group without being questioned or doubted. It may be in the form of an official system of principle, principles or doctrine, doctrines of a religion, such as Catholic Churc ...
of the
Assumption of Mary The Assumption of Mary (name in full Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary) is, according to the beliefs of the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Churches, Oriental Orthodoxy, Church of the East, and some Anglo-Catholicism, Anglo-Catholic Chu ...

Assumption of Mary
in his
Apostolic constitution An apostolic constitution ( la, constitutio apostolica) is the most solemn form of legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolling, enacting, or promulgating Promulgation is the formal proclamation or the declaration that a ...
''
Munificentissimus Deus ''Munificentissimus Deus'' ( la, The most bountiful God) is the name of an apostolic constitution An apostolic constitution ( la, constitutio apostolica) is the most solemn form of legislation Legislation is law which has been promulgation, prom ...
''. His
magisterium The magisterium of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptise ...
includes almost 1,000 addresses and radio broadcasts. His forty-one encyclicals include ''
Mystici corporis ''Mystici corporis Christi'' (English: 'The Mystical Body of Christ') is a papal encyclical issued by Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XII ( it, Pio XII), born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (; 2 March 18769 October 1958), was head of the ...
'', the Church as the Body of Christ; ''
Mediator Dei''Mediator Dei'', a papal encyclical, was issued by Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XII ( it, Pio XII), born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (; 2 March 18769 October 1958), was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often refe ...
'' on liturgy reform; and ''
Humani generis ''Humani generis'' is a papal encyclical that Pope Pius XII promulgation, promulgated on 12 August 1950 "concerning some false opinions threatening to undermine the foundations of Catholic Doctrine". Theological opinions and doctrines known as ''No ...
'', in which he instructed
theologians Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an Discipline (academia), academic discipline, typically in universities and seminaries. It occupies itself with the un ...
to adhere to episcopal teaching and allowed that the human body might have
evolved Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

evolved
from earlier forms. He eliminated the Italian majority in the
College of Cardinals The College of Cardinals, or more formally the Sacred College of Cardinals, is the body of all cardinals Cardinal or The Cardinal may refer to: Christianity * Cardinal (Catholic Church), a senior official of the Catholic Church * Cardina ...
in 1946. After he died in 1958, Pope Pius XII was succeeded by
John XXIII Pope John XXIII ( la, Ioannes; it, Giovanni; born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, ; 25 November 18813 June 1963) was Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is ...
. In the process toward sainthood, his cause for canonization was opened on 18 November 1965 by
Paul VI Pope Paul VI ( la, Paulus VI; it, Paolo VI; born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini, ; 26 September 18976 August 1978) was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the Li ...
during the final session of the
Second Vatican Council The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, commonly known as the , or , was the 21st ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological e ...
. He was made a
Servant of God "Servant of God" is a title used in the Catholic Church to indicate that an individual is on the first step toward possible canonization as a saint. Terminology The expression "servant of God" appears nine times in the Bible, the first five in ...
by
John Paul II Pope John Paul II ( la, Ioannes Paulus II; it, Giovanni Paolo II; pl, Jan Paweł II; born Karol Józef Wojtyła ; 18 May 19202 April 2005) was the head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Ca ...

John Paul II
in 1990 and
Benedict XVI Pope Benedict XVI ( la, Benedictus XVI; it, Benedetto XVI; german: Benedikt XVI.; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, , on 16 April 1927) is a retired prelate A prelate () is a high-ranking member of the clergy who is an ordinary or who ra ...

Benedict XVI
declared Pius XII
Venerable The Venerable is a style, title, or epithet which is used in some Christianity, Christian churches and in Buddhism. Christianity Catholic In the Catholic Church, after a deceased Catholic has been declared a Servant of God by a Bishop (Cathol ...
on 19 December 2009.


Early life

Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli was born on 2 March 1876 in Rome into a family of intense Catholic piety with a history of ties to the papacy (the "
Black Nobility The black nobility or black aristocracy ( it, nobiltà nera, aristocrazia nera) are Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancien ...
"). His parents were Filippo Pacelli (1837–1916) and Virginia (née Graziosi) Pacelli (1844–1920). His grandfather, Marcantonio Pacelli, had been Under-Secretary in the Papal Ministry of Finances and then Secretary of the Interior under
Pope Pius IX Pope Pius IX ( it, Pio IX, ''Pio Nono''; born Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti; 13 May 1792 – 7 February 1878) was head of the Catholic Church from 1846 to 1878, the List of popes by length of reign, longest verified papal reign. He was notable ...

Pope Pius IX
from 1851 to 1870 and helped found the Vatican's newspaper, ''
L'Osservatore Romano ''L'Osservatore Romano'' (, 'The Roman Observer') is the daily newspaper of Vatican City State Vatican City (), officially the Vatican City State ( it, Stato della Città del Vaticano; la, Status Civitatis Vaticanae),—' * german: Vati ...
'' in 1861. His cousin, Ernesto Pacelli, was a key financial advisor to
Pope Leo XIII Pope Leo XIII ( it, Leone XIII; born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci; 2 March 1810 – 20 July 1903) was the head of the Catholic Church from 20 February 1878 to his death in 1903. He was the oldest pope (living till the age of 93), w ...

Pope Leo XIII
; his father, Filippo Pacelli, a
Franciscan , image = FrancescoCoA PioM.svg , image_size = 250px , caption = A cross, Christ's arm and Saint Francis's arm, a universal symbol of the Franciscans , abbreviation = OFM , predecessor = , ...
tertiary Tertiary ( ) is a widely used but obsolete term for the geologic period The geologic time scale (GTS) is a system of chronological dating that classifies Geology, geological strata (stratigraphy) in time. It is used by geologists, paleontology ...
, was the dean of the
Roman Rota The Roman Rota, formally the Apostolic Tribunal of the Roman Rota ( la, Tribunal Apostolicum Rotae Romanae), and anciently the Apostolic Court of Audience, is the highest appellate court, appellate tribunal of the Catholic Church, with respect t ...

Roman Rota
; and his brother,
Francesco Pacelli Francesco Pacelli (February 1, 1872 – April 22, 1935) was an Italy, Italian lawyer and the elder brother of Eugenio Pacelli, who would later become Pope Pius XII. He acted as a legal advisor to Pope Pius XI; in this capacity, he assisted Cardi ...

Francesco Pacelli
, became a
lay Lay may refer to: Places *Lay Range, a subrange of mountains in British Columbia, Canada *Lay, Loire, a French commune *Lay (river), France *Lay, Iran, a village *Lay, Kansas, United States, an unincorporated community People * Lay (surname) * L ...
canon law Canon law (from grc, κανών, , a 'straight measuring rod, ruler A ruler, sometimes called a rule or line gauge, is a device used in geometry and technical drawing, as well as the engineering and construction industries, to measure dis ...
yer and the legal advisor to
Pope Pius XI Pope Pius XI ( it, Pio XI), born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti (; 31 May 1857 – 10 February 1939), was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christia ...
, in which role he negotiated the
Lateran Treaty The Lateran Treaty ( it, Patti Lateranensi; la, Pacta Lateranensia) was one component of the Lateran Pacts of 1929, agreements between the Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state that existed from 1861—when ...
in 1929 with
Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
, bringing an end to the
Roman Question The Roman Question ( it, Questione romana; la, Quaestio Romana) was a dispute regarding the temporal power of the pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Rom ...
. Together with his brother Francesco and his two sisters, Giuseppina and Elisabetta, he grew up in the
Parione Parione is the 6th ''Rioni of Rome, rione'' of Rome, identified by the initials R. VI, and belongs to the Municipio I. Its name comes from the fact that in the area there was a huge ancient wall, maybe belonging to the Piazza Navona, stadium ...
district in the centre of Rome. Soon after the family had moved to Via Vetrina in 1880 he began school at the convent of the French Sisters of Divine Providence in the Piazza Fiammetta. The family worshipped at Chiesa Nuova. Eugenio and the other children made their
First Communion First Communion is a ceremony in some Christianity, Christian traditions during which a person first receives the Eucharist. It is most common in many parts of the Latin Church tradition of the Catholic Church, Lutheranism, Lutheran Church and Angl ...
at this church and Eugenio served there as an
altar boy An altar server is a laity, lay assistant to a member of the clergy during a Christian liturgy. An altar server attends to supporting tasks at the altar such as fetching and carrying, ringing the altar bell, helps bring up the gifts, brings up the ...
from 1886. In 1886 too he was sent to the private school of Professor Giuseppe Marchi, close to the
Piazza Venezia Piazza Venezia () is the central hub of Rome, Italy, in which several thoroughfares intersect, including the Via dei Fori Imperiali and the Via del Corso. It takes its name from the Palazzo Venezia, built by the Venetian Cardinal, Pietro Barbo v ...
. In 1891 Pacelli's father sent Eugenio to the Liceo Ennio Quirino Visconti Institute, a state school situated in what had been the
Collegio Romano The Roman College ( la, Collegium Romanum, it, Collegio Romano) was a school established by St. Ignatius of Loyola Ignatius of Loyola, Society of Jesus, S.J. (born Iñigo López de Oñaz y Loyola; eu, Ignazio Loiolakoa; es, Ignacio de Loyola ...

Collegio Romano
, the premier Jesuit university in Rome. In 1894, aged 18, Pacelli began his theology studies at Rome's oldest seminary, the
Almo Collegio Capranica The Almo Collegio Capranica is the oldest Roman college The Roman College ( it, Collegio Romano) was a school established by St. Ignatius of Loyola Ignatius of Loyola (born Iñigo López de Oñaz y Loyola; eu, Ignazio Loiolakoa; es, Ignacio ...
, and in November of the same year, registered to take a philosophy course at the Jesuit
Pontifical Gregorian University The Pontifical Gregorian University ( it, Pontificia Università Gregoriana; also known as the Gregoriana) is a higher education ecclesiastical school (pontifical university) located in Rome, Italy. It was originally a part of the Roman College fo ...
and theology at the Pontifical Roman Athenaeum S. Apollinare. He was also enrolled at the State University, La Sapienza where he studied modern languages and history. At the end of the first academic year however, in the summer of 1895, he dropped out of both the Capranica and the Gregorian University. According to his sister Elisabetta, the food at the Capranica was to blame. Having received a special dispensation he continued his studies from home and so spent most of his seminary years as an external student. In 1899 he completed his education in Sacred Theology with a doctoral degree awarded on the basis of a short dissertation and an oral examination in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
.


Church career


Priest and Monsignor

While all other candidates from the Rome diocese were ordained in the
Basilica of St. John Lateran
Basilica of St. John Lateran
,Noel, p. 9 Pacelli was
ordained Ordination is the process by which individuals are Consecration, consecrated, that is, set apart and elevated from the laity class to the clergy, who are thus then authorization, authorized (usually by the religious denomination, denominational hi ...
a priest on
Easter Sunday Easter,Traditional names for the feast in English are "Easter Day", as in the ''Book of Common Prayer A book is a medium for recording information in the form of writing or images, typically composed of many page (paper), pages (made of ...

Easter Sunday
, 2 April 1899 alone in the private chapel of a family friend the
Vicegerent Vicegerent is the official administrative deputy of a ruler or head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110–11 " he head of statebeing an ...
of Rome, Mgr Paolo Cassetta. Shortly after ordination he began postgraduate studies in canon law at Sant'Apollinaire. He received his first assignment as a
curate A curate (, sometimes ) is a person who is invested with the Cure of souls, ''care'' or ''cure'' (''cura'') ''of souls'' of a parish. In this sense, "curate" correctly means a parish, parish priest; but in English-speaking countries the term ''cu ...
at Chiesa Nuova.Marchione, 2000, p. 193 In 1901 he entered the
Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs The Section for Relations with States or Second Section of the Secretariat of State is the body within the Roman Curia The Roman Curia ( la, Romana Curia ministerium suum implent) comprises the administrative institutions of the Holy See and ...
, a sub-office of the
Vatican Secretariat of State The Secretariat of State (in latin ''Secretaria Status'', in Italian language, Italian ''Segreteria di Stato'') is the oldest dicastery in the Roman Curia, the central papal governing bureaucracy of the Catholic Church. It is headed by the Cardina ...
. Monsignor
Pietro Gasparri Pietro Gasparri, GCTE (5 May 1852 – 18 November 1934) was a Roman Catholic Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people ...

Pietro Gasparri
, the recently appointed undersecretary at the Department of Extraordinary Affairs, had underscored his proposal to Pacelli to work in the "Vatican's equivalent of the Foreign office" by highlighting the "necessity of defending the Church from the onslaughts of secularism and liberalism throughout Europe".Noel, p. 10 Pacelli became an ''apprendista'', an apprentice, in Gasparri's department. In January 1901 he was also chosen, by Pope Leo XIII himself, according to an official account, to deliver condolences on behalf of the Vatican to King
Edward VII Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of Engla ...

Edward VII
of the UK after the death of
Queen Victoria Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of En ...

Queen Victoria
.Marchione, 2004, p. 9 By 1904 Pacelli received his doctorate. The theme of his thesis was the nature of
concordats A concordat is a convention between the Holy See and a sovereign state that defines the relationship between the Catholic Church and the state in matters that concern both,René Metz, "What is Canon Law?" (New York: Hawthorn Books, 1960 [1st Edit ...
and the function of canon law when a concordat falls into abeyance. Promoted to the position of ''minutante'', he prepared digests of reports that had been sent to the Secretariat from all over the world and in the same year became a papal chamberlain. In 1905 he received the title Domestic Prelate, domestic prelate. From 1904 until 1916, he assisted Cardinal Pietro Gasparri in his codification of Canon law (Catholic Church), canon law with the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs.Marchione, 2004, p. 10 According to John Cornwell (writer), John Cornwell "the text, together with the Anti-Modernist Oath, became the means by which the Holy See was to establish and sustain the new, unequal, and unprecedented power relationship that had arisen between the papacy and the Church". In 1908, Pacelli served as a Vatican representative on the International Eucharistic Congress, accompanying
Rafael Merry del Val Rafael Merry del Val y Zulueta, (10 October 1865 – 26 February 1930) was a Spanish Roman Catholic cardinal. Before becoming a cardinal, he served as the secretary of the papal conclave of 1903 that elected Pope Pius X, who is said to have ...

Rafael Merry del Val
to London, where he met
Winston Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, (30 November 187424 January 1965) was a British statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The hea ...

Winston Churchill
. In 1911, he represented the Holy See at the
coronation A coronation is the act of placement or bestowal of a crown '' File:서봉총 금관 금제드리개.jpg, The Seobongchong Golden Crown of Ancient Silla, which is 339th National Treasure of South Korea. It is basically following the stand ...
of King
George V George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936. Born during the reign of his grandmother ...

George V
. Pacelli became the under-secretary in 1911, adjunct-secretary in 1912 (a position he received under
Pope Pius X Pope Pius X ( it, Pio X; born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto; 2 June 1835 – 20 August 1914) was head of the Catholic Church as Pope from August 1903 to his death in 1914. Pius X is known for vigorously opposing Modernism in the Catholic Churc ...

Pope Pius X
and retained under
Pope Benedict XV Pope Benedict XV (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of th ...

Pope Benedict XV
), and secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs in February 1914. On 24 June 1914, just four days before
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria Archduke Franz Ferdinand Carl Ludwig Joseph Maria of Austria (18 December 1863 – 28 June 1914) was the heir presumptive An heir presumptive is the person entitled to inherit a throne, peerage, or other hereditary honour, but whose positi ...

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
was assassinated in
Sarajevo Sarajevo ( ; cyrl, Сарајево, ; ''see names in other languages'') is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase ...

Sarajevo
, Pacelli, together with Cardinal Merry del Val, represented the Vatican when the Serbian Concordat was signed.
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...

Serbia
's success in the
First Balkan War The First Balkan War ( bg, Балканска война; el, Αʹ Βαλκανικός πόλεμος; sr, Први балкански рат, ''Prvi Balkanski rat''; tr, Birinci Balkan Savaşı) lasted from October 1912 to May 1913 and invo ...

First Balkan War
against
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
in 1912 had increased the number of Catholics within greater Serbia. At this time Serbia, encouraged by Russia, was challenging
Austria-Hungary Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exe ...

Austria-Hungary
's sphere of influence throughout the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
. Pius X died on 20 August 1914. His successor Benedict XV named Gasparri as secretary of state and Gasparri took Pacelli with him into the Secretariat of State, making him undersecretary. During World War I, Pacelli maintained the Vatican's registry of
prisoners of war A prisoner of war (POW) is a non-combatant Non-combatant is a term of art Jargon is the specialized terminology associated with a particular field or area of activity. Jargon is normally employed in a particular Context (language use), co ...
and worked to implement papal relief initiatives. In 1915, he travelled to
Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, national capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, mos ...

Vienna
to assist Monsignor Raffaele Scapinelli,
nuncio An apostolic nuncio ( la, nuntius apostolicus; also known as a papal nuncio or simply as a nuncio) is an ecclesiastical {{Short pages monitor 1876 births 1958 deaths 20th-century Italian Roman Catholic priests Almo Collegio Capranica alumni Apostolic Nuncios to Bavaria, Pacelli Apostolic Nuncios to Germany, Pacelli Burials at St. Peter's Basilica Camerlengos of the Holy Roman Church Cardinal Secretaries of State Italian anti-communists Italian popes, Pius 12 Nazi persecution of the Catholic Church Critics of classical liberalism Pacelli family Clergy from Rome Pontifical Gregorian University alumni Popes Italian venerated Catholics World War II political leaders Papal chamberlains Venerated popes Grand Masters of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre Venerated Catholics by Pope Benedict XVI Apostolic Nuncios to Prussia People who rescued Jews during the Holocaust