World War II

The Latest

The beatification of Fr. Giovanni Fornasini in Bologna, Italy, Sept. 26, 2021.

Heroic Catholic priest described as a ‘guardian angel’ in WWII is beatified

Sep 28, 2021

By Courtney Mares

Blessed Giovanni Fornasini was killed while trying to bury victims of a Nazi massacre. Read more

Religious sisters view remains discovered at a site in Gdańsk, northern Poland.

Inside the search for Polish Catholic sisters killed by the Red Army and on the path to beatification

Jun 4, 2021

By Luke Coppen

The sisters were brutally mistreated by Soviet soldiers in 1945. Have their bodies finally been recovered? Read more

Gino Bartali (1914-2000) competing in the 1938 Tour de France.

Catholic cycling champion who saved Jews during World War II honored in Assisi

May 5, 2021

By Hannah Brockhaus

Gino Bartali helped to save more than 800 Jews from Nazi persecution. Read more

Catholic priests and civilians are seized by the Nazis in Bydgoszcz, Poland, in September 1939.

Polish Catholics commemorate fifth of diocesan priests killed in World War II

Apr 29, 2021

Around 2,000 of Poland’s 10,000 diocesan priests perished during the Nazi German occupation. Read more

The Umschlagplatz Monument in Warsaw, Poland, where more than 300,000 Jews were transported from the Warsaw Ghetto to Nazi death camps.

Polish Catholic bishop: Warsaw Ghetto Uprising anniversary is ‘an appeal to love one’s neighbor’

Apr 19, 2021

The uprising -- the largest single Jewish revolt of World War II -- was launched 78 years ago Read more

Venerable Pius XII

Book gives more insight into the actions of Pius XII and his 'bureau' during WWII

Jan 7, 2021

By Andrea Gagliarducci

A new book provides further information from the archives of Venerable Pius XII, including the Vatican’s attempts to oppose the... Read more

Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, pictured in Kraków, Poland, March 4, 2016.

Cardinal Dziwisz: heed St. John Paul II’s appeal for peace on World War II anniversary

Sep 1, 2020

The world needs once again to hear St. John Paul II’s appeal for an end to war, Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz... Read more

Photo courtesy of the Polish bishops' conference.

Polish bishops recall service of priests, nuns during Warsaw Uprising

Aug 7, 2020

Commemorating the 76th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis, the Catholic bishops of Poland released a reflection on... Read more

The ruins of Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Nagasaki, Jan. 7, 1946.

Catholics in US called to solidarity with Japan ahead of atomic bomb anniversary

Jul 13, 2020

For the upcoming anniversary of the detonation of two atomic bombs on Japan, the US bishops have encouraged Catholics to... Read more

 Msgr. Domenico Tardini in 1932.

Cardinal’s notes give depth to research in Venerable Pius XII archives

Jun 26, 2020

By Hannah Brockhaus

The Vatican’s apostolic archives reopened to researchers in June after a nearly three-month closure because of the pandemic.  Read more

Pope Pius XII. Public domain.

Scholars dispute charge of Pius XII Holocaust cover-up

May 1, 2020

By JD Flynn

Scholars say charges made last month that Pope Pius XII covered-up the Vatican’s knowledge of the Holocaust are based on... Read more

National pilgrimage of the Polish clergy to Dachau on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camp in 2015.

Catholics honor the priests killed at Dachau, remember 75th liberation anniversary

Apr 29, 2020

When the U.S. Army arrived at Dachau concentration camp 75 years ago, on April 29, 1945, the clergy held captive... Read more

Venerable Pius XII

What to expect when Vatican archives on Venerable Pius XII open in March

Feb 20, 2020

By Hannah Brockhaus

The Vatican’s archives on the pontificate of Venerable Pius XII will become available for study March 2, possibly bringing to... Read more

Irena Sendler.

Film to portray Catholic woman who saved Jewish children in WWII 

Dec 23, 2019

The true story of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic woman who helped smuggle thousands of Jewish children out of the... Read more

Pope Francis prays at the Nagasaki ground zero site on Nov. 24, 2019.

At Nagasaki ground zero, pope denounces 'unspeakable horror' of nuclear weapons

Nov 23, 2019

By Hannah Brockhaus

At the ground zero site of the 1945 nuclear attack on Nagasaki, Pope Francis said the threat of using nuclear... Read more

Cardinal Stepinac. public domain.

How this Croatian cardinal saved thousands of Jewish lives

Nov 22, 2019

By Mary Farrow

The story of Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac.  Read more

St. Peter's Basilica in 1940.

When bombs fell on the Vatican

Nov 5, 2019

By Hannah Brockhaus

It was a dark autumn night in Rome, which was suffering under the occupation of Nazi Germany and was the... Read more

The ruins of Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Nagasaki, Jan. 7, 1946.

Cross that survived atomic bombing of Nagasaki returned

Aug 7, 2019

An Ohio college is returning to Nagasaki's Immaculate Conception Cathedral a wooden cross that was recovered from the cathedral's remains... Read more

US World War II veteran Joe Riley of the 501st airborne (L), 98, in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, France, June 6, 2019, for D-Day commemorations.

Remembering D-Day imposes 'homage of respect', 'duty to prevent conflicts'

Jun 6, 2019

Marking Thursday's 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings during World War II, bishops from across the world said the operations... Read more

Hitler.

Vatican to open WWII secret archives of Pope Pius XII

Mar 4, 2019

By Courtney Mares

Pope Francis announced Monday that the Vatican will open its archives on the pontificate of Pope Pius XII. Confidential files... Read more