|Pope Pius XII: Biography and Writings
Pope Pius XII governed the Church in the turbulent times of World War II and its aftermath. He was a played a very important role in the development of Catholic Doctrine through is ordinary teaching in a variety of encyclicals and apostolic letters, and in his extraordinary teaching--the dogmatic definition of the Assumption of Our Lady into heaven.
Born Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII was ordained priest in 1899 and entered Papal diplomatic service in 1901. He was given increasing responsibilities over the years including Nuncio to Bavaria and the German Republic and ultimately, in 1930, Papal Secretary of State. He was elected Pope in 1939 on the eve of World War II and had the difficult task of guiding the Catholic Church through that bloody conflict and through the post-war restoration as well. Pius XII made very important contributions to Catholic doctrine, defining the Dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1950. His death in 1958 led to the election of Pope John XXIII. The Second Vatican Council, convened by Pius XII's successor, could not have occurred had it not been for the important groundwork laid by Pope Pius XII.