Testament of Pope Pius XII

Pope Pius XII signed his testament (will) on May 15, 1956, some fifteen months before his death. Unlike the testaments of his predecessor Pius X and successor John Paul II, it is a very short document, omitting names, details and designations of individual material belongings.

Supporters of Pope Pius XII view the testament as a testimonial of his modesty and spiritual holiness.[1] It has been quoted at memorial events in his honour and is allegedly a part of the documentation of his beatification process underway in Rome.

Noteworthy is the first sentence in Latin: Miserere mei, Deus, secundum (magnam) misericordiam tuam (Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your great mercy; Psalm 50). When the Pope pronounced these words after his election March 2, 1939, the word magnam was a part of the cited Psalm. However the new 1945 translation left out this word. In order to be correct in his 1939 quote, Pope Pius put (magnam) in parentheses.