Nobility of Birth Seems a Fortuitous Fact, but It Results from a Benevolent Design of Heaven

March 10, 2016

From the allocution of Leo XIII to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility on January 21, 1897:

Our heart rejoices to see you here again, united by a concord of ideas and affections that honor you. Our charity knows no partiality, nor ought to know any, yet it is not to be blamed if it takes particular pleasure in you and in the very social rank that was assigned to you in what may seem a fortuitous manner, but was in truth the benign will of heaven. How can one deny special esteem to the prominence of a noble line if the Divine Redeemer manifested the same regard? Of course, during His earthly pilgrimage, He adopted a life of poverty and never wished for the company of riches, yet He chose His own lineage from royal stock.

Coronation of the Virgin by Jacobello del Fiore

We remind you of these things, beloved Children, not to flatter any foolish pride, but rather to give you comfort in works worthy of your rank. Every individual and every class of individuals has its function and its value; from the ordered accord of all is born the harmony of mankind. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that in the public and private orders the aristocracy of blood is a special force, as are property and talent. And if it were somehow in contradiction to the will of nature, it would never have been what it has been in all ages, one of the moderating laws of human history. Wherefore, judging from the past, it is not illogical to infer that, however the times may evolve, an illustrious name will always have some validity to one who knows how to bear it worthily.

 

Leonis XIII Pontificis Maximii Acta (Rome: Ex Tipografia Vaticana, 1898), Vol. 17, pp. 357-358 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. 470.

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Jesus Christ Willed to be Born of Royal Stock

From the Allocution of Leo XIII to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility on January 24, 1903:

The Holy Family in Nazareth. Painting by Diego Quispe Tito, 1675And Jesus Christ, although He chose to spend His private life in the obscurity of a lowly dwelling, passing for the son of a laborer, and although in public life He so loved to associate with the common people, helping them in every manner possible, still He chose to be born of royal stock, choosing Mary as a mother and Joseph as putative father, both of them scions of the Davidic line. And yesterday, the feast of their marriage, we were able to repeat with the Church the beautiful words, “Regali ex progenie Maria exorta refulget” [Mary shows herself to us all refulgent, born of royal stock].

 

Leonis XIII Pontificis Maximii Acta (Rome: Ex Tipografia Vaticana, 1898), Vol. 22, p. 368 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. 470.

 

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  • Bruce Blommel

    The “aristocracy of blood” is not, however, a “special force” when those who possess it do not follow the laws and Will of their Creator.

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