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The book that was never presented

· Volumes in honour of the Vatican Radio's 80th anniversary will be given to the Pope ·

“What we are today is not only the result of the intuitions of Pius xi, of Fr Giuseppe Gianfranceschi and of Guglielmo Marconi, but also of those who in 80 years have put them [intuitions] into practice in their vocation of service to the Radio”. With these words, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, General Director of Vatican Radio, introduced the presentation of the two-volume work of Alessandro De Carolis, Ottant’anni della Radio del Papa ( Eighty Years of the Pope’s Radio . Città del Vaticano, Vatican Publishing House, 2011). The box, which also contains a re-print of Fernando Bea’s book, Qui Radio Vaticana. Mezzo Secolo della Radio del Papa ( Here, Vatican Radio. A Half-Century of the Pope’s Radio . Città del Vaticano, Edizioni Radio Vaticana, 1981), was presented in the Aula Magna of the Libera Università Maria Santissima Assunta, on Wednesday afternoon, 4 October, at a meeting chaired by Fr Giuseppe Costa, Director of the Vatican Publishing House. The Salesian priest highlighted the close collaboration between the Vatican Publishing House and Vatican Radio and the importance of the work which fills a gap of historical information about the Pope’s Radio.

After recalling the precious activity of the Radio in totalitarian times, Fr Lombardi spoke about something that few know: Bea’s book was to have been presented at 6:00 p.m. on 13 May 1981. However at 5:17 p.m. that evening the attempted assassination of John Paul II took place in St Peter’s Square. Naturally the meeting was never held, not then and not ever. The Jesuit pointed out that there are three ways to get to know the Radio better: by consulting the historical museum in the Vatican Gardens, the two-volume work of Bea and De Carolis and the publication on Vatican Radio’s website of a documentary diary edited by Fr Félix Juan Cabasés, sj. Mauro Moretti, Delegate Administrator of the Italian railways which sponsored the publication, announced that it would be presented to Benedict XVI on 27 October during his train journey to Assisi, where he will celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Peace.

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Aug. 22, 2019

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