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Pius XII, photograph by Yousuf Karsh.—KarshRapho/Photo Researchers
(born March 2, 1876, Rome, Italydied Oct. 9, 1958, Castel Gandolfo) Pope (1939–58). Before succeeding Pius XI in 1939, he served in the papal diplomatic service and as secretary of state to the Holy See. He was active in humanitarian work with prisoners and refugees during World War II but has been criticized by some for not having done more to prevent or battle the Holocaust. In the postwar era he was a defender of persecuted Catholics in communist countries. Known for his austere conservatism, he in 1950 defined the dogma of the bodily Assumption of the Virgin.
Variants of PIUS XII
Pius XII orig. Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Pius XII, visit Britannica.com.
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