You might not have heard of Eugenio Pacelli, but you definitely have heard of who he became: Pope Pius XIII.

Born to a family with a history of service to the Holy See, Eugenio from a young age knew his life would be in the same service. Enrolled in a kindergarten run by French sisters and later a Jesuit elementary school, he was pious before becoming Pius.

When assigned an essay on his “favorite” historical figure, Eugenio chose Augustine of Hippo, prompting laughter from his classmates. When he attempted to expand a little on the history of Christian civilization, his teacher scolded him and said he wasn’t paid to teach the lessons.

At age 12, even declared he would enter the priesthood. Later he would say he liked to pray and study as a child, and that he never understood why people would talk or do nothing rather than pray and study.

In another reflection on his childhood, Eugenio was assigned an essay on “my enemies,” and discussed his belief on fairies, and how they were a glimpse of what’s to come.

“As a child I saw in long sleepless nights bad, ugly, black fairies dancing around me. Fairies, who are the enemies of good children and as these terrible faces appeared in front of me, changing into ever more terrible appearances, I put my head under the covers. One could say, that they were anticipations, what will happen later in life.”

Pray for Pope Venerable Pius XII!

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