Letter to Jefferson Davis by Pope Pius IX
Illustrious and Honorable President:
We have just received, with all suitable welcome, the persons sent by you to place in our hands your letter, dated 23d of September last. Not slight was the pleasure we experienced when we learned from these persons and the letter, with what feelings of joy and gratitude you were animated, illustrations and honorable President, as soon as you were informed of our letters to our venerable brothers, John Archbishop of New York and John Archbishop of New Orleans, dated the 18th of October of last year, and in which we have, with all our strength, excited and exhorted these venerable brothers that in their episcopal piety and solicitude they should endeavor, with the most ardent zeal, and in our name, to bring about the end of the fatal civil war which has broken out in those countries, in order that the American people may obtain peace and concord, and dwell charitably together. It is particularly agreeable to us to see that you, illustrious and honorable President, and your people, are animated with the same desires of peace and tranquility which we have in your letters inculcated upon our venerable brothers. May it please God at the same time to make the other peoples of America and their rulers, reflecting seriously how terrible is civil war, and what calamities it engenders, listen to the inspirations of a calmer spirit, and adopt resolutely the part of peace. As for us, we shall not cease to offer up the fervent prayers to God Almighty that He may pour out upon all the peoples of America the spirit of peace and charity, and that He will stop the great evils which afflict them. We, at the same time, beseech the God of mercy and pity to shed abroad upon you the light of His grace, and attach you to us by perfect friendship.
Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, the 3d day of December, 1863, of our Pontificate 18.