The Apostolic Delegate (Cicognani) to the Secretary of State

No. 133/45

My Dear Mr. Secretary: His Holiness has instructed me to present the following facts for the valued consideration of the Government of the United States:

Pressing appeals are constantly being made with a view to securing the intervention of the Holy See on behalf of the population of Holland, particularly in the western provinces, where the food situation is arousing the gravest preoccupations. This is also true of the northern part of the country. Large numbers of persons are actually dying in the streets, and the general situation is such as to produce genuine conditions of famine and starvation. In some cases, individuals have had to be so long without nourishing food that they were unable to take food when it finally became available even in reduced quantities.

The pitiful appeals which are thus sent to the Holy See find a compassionate echo in the heart of His Holiness, and with all confidence he asks the United States Government to take means to provide relief for this serious problem, just as soon as circumstances and means will make assistance possible. The Holy Father observes that the understanding charity of the United States in this critical situation will win for the American nation an everlasting claim on the gratitude of the people who will benefit from this relief, and will likewise be a source of universal admiration for a humanitarian work so generously carried out.

Sincerely yours,

A. G. Cicognani

Archbishop of Laodicea