50 years ago, one giant leap for mankind was made, and the astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission went to the moon. Here’s what Pope Paul VI said to them.
When the whole of humanity was captivated the night of July 20th, 1969, included was the Roman pontiff. Pope Paul VI watched the Apollo 11 mission on television to see man step on the moon for the first time.
When Neil Armstrong made one small step for man, the late pontiff blessed the Apollo moon-landing, dedicated Psalm 8 to the astronauts, and sent them a message.
Read Pope Paul VI’s message to the astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission, the first men to land on the moon.
“Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to men of good will!
Christ, when coming among us from the abysses of the divinity, made this blessed voice resound in the firmament. Today We, his humble representative, echo and repeat it as a festive hymn on the part of our whole terrestrial globe, no longer the insurmountable boundary of human existence but the open threshold to the wide expanse of boundless space and new destinies.
Glory to God!
And honour to you, the architects of this great space undertaking! Honour to the men responsible to the scientists, the planners, the organizers, and the technicians who made it a reality! Honour to all those who have made possible this most daring flight. Honour to all of you who in any way played a part. Honour to you who, seated at your marvellous instruments, control the flight; to you whom inform the world of the enterprise and its time-table, which extends to the depths of the heavens the wise and bold dominion of man.
Honour, greetings and blessings!
Here, from His Observatory at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, Pope Paul the Sixth is speaking to you astronauts.
Honour, greetings and blessing to you, conquerors of the Moon, pale lamp of our nights and our dreams! Bring to her, with your living presence, the voice of the spirit, a hymn to God, our Creator and our Father.
We are close to you, with our good wishes and with our prayers. Together with the whole Catholic Church, Paul the Sixth salutes you.”
Paul VI later received the astronauts in his private library on October 16th, 1969 to congratulate them in person on their achievement.
“It is with the greatest joy in our heart, that We welcome you here today-you who have broken through the barrier of space to land on another world of God’s creation.”
In 2017, Pope Francis spoke with six astronauts orbiting Earth in the International Space Station, discussing love, humanity, and man’s place in the universe.