Thursday, December 29, 2011

Last Photo Taken of Ven. Pius XII

Photo Keystone. In the photo can be seen Dr. Riccardo Galeazzi-Lisi as he took one last look, along with the sediari, before the casket was closed and lowered down into the confessio of the Vatican Basilica for burial in the crypt.


  1. The Pope's nose seems to still be there. It was reported that it fell off.

  2. Proof you cannot believe everything you read (especially on the net).

  3. I think this is quite possibly a photograph takn before the Holy Father's body left Castegandolfo. By the time it came to lowering the Pope into the triple coffin the damage had been done and for the final part of the laying in state it is reported that a wax mask was placed over his face. If you look at other photos you will see that it was actually the Noble Guard (see Youtube) who carried Pope Pius into St. Pater's when his body arrived from Castelgandolfo and later lowered his disintegrating body into the coffin. The last ones to look upon him closely would be his secretary and Mgr. Calori di Vignale who placed white veils over his face and feet.
    Surely by the time of the actual funeral Galliazzi Lisi had been discredited and would not have been allowed so close to the Pope.
    A sad and gruesome end to the physical remains of a much-loved and saintly Pope.
    Please God when he is finally canonised his body will be left in peace within his tomb.


  4. Keep in mind two things:

    1. In those days the Pope's body was not vested in pontificals immediately upon death. It was first dressed in cassock, rocket and mozetta and camauro. So, this photo is likely NOT from when his body was leaving Castelgandalfo.

    2. By the time of the actual funeral his body would have already been buried for several days. Unlike today when there is a period of mourning, a lying in state and THEN the funeral which includes the burial in the old days the Pope's body was buried a few days after his death but the funeral did not take place until the nine official days of mourning were over. Then there was the requiem Mass with an elaborate catafalque present to represent the Pope's body.

    So, it is possible that Galeazzi-Lisi would still have been around. The photo is almost certainly after they left Castelgandalfo AND its probably still just within days after the Pope's death because the burial preceded the funeral back then.

  5. Amazing that this quack was allowed to be anywhere near the pope.

  6. The first photograph of Pope Pius after death was as cardinal Tissarant in sprinkling the body with holy water. The pope is not 'dressed'. This is something that John XXIII took action about at the beginning of his pontificate.
    The next photograph is of the pope, still lying on his bed with the velvet cape laid on top of him as though he is wearing it, plus the matching velvet hat. The next photograph (recently on sale with Ebay) shows the pope being carried from his bedrooom enclosed in a cellophane bag. The following photograph, still at Castelgandolfo is the Holy Father wearing mitre and full vestments in the Hall of the Guards. The cellophane bag is clearly visible.
    His body was then taken by hearse to Rome, first to the Lateran for 'absolution', where the lid of the coffin cracked (loudly) because of the build up of decomposition gasses, and then on to St. Peter's where it was take out of the coffin and treated for damage already begun on the journey, before being processed to the Altar of the Confession carried by the Noble Guard (see Youtube) where it was first laid on a low catalfalque. Later placed on a much higher one where it was less likely that people could see the decomposition damage. The smell they could not hide! The quack doctor had to climb up onto the cataflaque every night and place more herbs and spices into the cellophane bag that Pius' body was actually contained in, but this only made matters worse. He had concocted a method of preservation which he believed had been used by the Egyptian pharoahs.
    Again I say that it is unbelieveable that that those in control - Tisserant, Massella, Enrico Dante and others allowed this disgraceful farce to take place.
    Fr. Sylvester speaks of the 'Novemdiali' which followed the actual burial service at which the eulogy was read, the pope's body placed into the triple coffin, his face and feet covered by white veils, then a complete covering, coins and medals of his pontificate and the eulogy place at his feet and then the three coffins sealed before being hung up on a gallows-like contraption and lowered down to the grottoes. Something else that John XXIII put a stop to.

    The Vatican never seem to learn from mistakes because Pope Paul VI's body started decomposing in full view of the public and by the time of the burial his face was unrecognisable and electric fans had to be brough in to help with the smell.

    At least with John XXIII, John Paul I and JP II things were more dignified.


  7. Pope Pius XII's body was put into a CELLOPHANE BAG? What the heck....? Seriously?

    I remember seeing photos of Pope Paul's body when it was laid out in St. Peter's. His face turned wretchedly green-remember he died in early August, in the heat of the Roman summer.

    I agree with you, least with John XXIII (don't remember much of his funeral, I was only eight years old), John Paul I, and John Paul II, things WERE more dignified!

    Barb in NY

  8. Unbelievable! Grotesque stories continue to make the rounds despite the contradictory evidence easily seen even on YouTube replays of old newsreel footage. That is not to deny the truth about difficulties regarding the preparation of Pius XII's body for viewing.

    If someone spreads the tale that the pope's ear fell off, I'm sure the story will go far and for long. People want quick "verification," and they think that the internet provides this. Folly!