From the allocution of Pius IX to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility on December 29, 1872:
Jesus Christ Himself loved aristocracy; and if I am not mistaken, I expounded upon this idea on another occasion. He too chose to be of noble birth, of the House of David; and His Gospel shows us His family tree down to Joseph and Mary, “de qua natus est Jesus.”
Aristocracy, nobility, therefore, is a gift from God. Preserve it diligently, and use it worthily. You do so already with Christian and charitable works, to which you devote yourselves to the great edification of your fellows and to the great advantage of your souls.
Discorsi del Sommo Pontefice Pio IX (Rome: Tipografia di G. Aureli, 1872), Vol. 2, p. 148 in Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), Documents IV, p. 469.