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“From His Holiness Pope John XXIII. To our dear son Joseph Ernest Van Roey, Cardinal of the Holy Catholic Church, Archbishop of Malines: John XXIII, Pope. Dear son, greetings and apostolic benediction. We have received the announcement of the cheerful wedding, which is to take place next December, of His Majesty, Baudouin I, King of the Belgians, with the most noble lady Doña Fabiola de Mora y Aragón.

“The memorable event in the history of your country, which makes your compatriots rejoice enormously and well deservingly, gives Us also a great joy. We have for the Belgian people a very vivid love and We perfectly know the brilliant qualities of soul which are attribute of your Catholic King and his very pious fiancée, which are a true consolation to our priestly heart. It is, thus, natural, that in this joyful occasion, We wish to send the particular testimony of our best wishes and associate ourselves to the general gladness, giving even more solemnity to the splendour of the ceremony.

“It’s because of this all that, dear son, We are happy to elect and designate you to bless in our name, according to the rites of the Catholic Church, this royal wedding. We know of your religious devotion and We know how well regarded you are in your country and in the Royal Court. We have no doubt that you will accomplish this especially honourable mission, which We give to you, with all the dignity that an event of such importance deserves.


“These hopes We recommend to God by our most fervent prayers and We confirm it by the apostolic benediction that We give to the new couple and the whole Royal Family. And We hope that this union will be good, happy and blessed and that it symbolizes for the Belgian people, so beloved to Us, a message of peace and tranquillity and an always growing Christian prosperity.”

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