World War II

The Latest

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


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


The astonishing secret history of the Pope who fought Hitler

Dec 18, 2016

By Kevin J. Jones

Pope Pius XII's secret support for the attempted overthrow of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler is the subject of a new... Read more

Fr. Aloysius Schmitt. Courtesy of Loras College.

Pearl Harbor priest identified 75 years later

Dec 8, 2016

When Archbishop Michael Jackels lifted the chalice during the consecration at a memorial Mass on Oct. 8 in Dubuque, Iowa,... Read more

Douglas MacArthur, a US general, signs the Japanese Instrument of Surrender aboard the USS Missouri, Sept. 2, 1945, formally ending World War II.

On WWII anniversary, Pope says 'never again' to war, condemns arms trafficking

Sep 2, 2015

Pope Francis remembered the official end of the Second World War on Wednesday with the plea: “never again,” and he... Read more

Ruins of Nagasaki, shortly after the Aug. 9, 1945 atomic bombing of the city the United States. Public Domain, via National Archives and Records Administration.

Tough lessons to learn from Hiroshima and Nagasaki: just war, nuclear disarmament

Aug 6, 2015

By Kevin J. Jones

The 70th anniversary of the US atomic strikes on Japan has prompted reflection, commemoration, and debate about the ethics of... Read more

Jakob Salvati and Eduardo Verastegui star in 'Little Boy.' Courtesy of Metanoia Films.

For filmmakers, 'Little Boy' moved mountains of its own

Apr 25, 2015

By Hillary Mast

A new film from award-winning writer and director Alejandro Monteverde proved to not only tell a story of faith, but... Read more

Fr. Francis Sampson, known as the 'Parachute Padre', gives last rites to paratroopers killed in action during the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

Recalling D-Day, 70 Years Ago

Jun 6, 2014

Men and women across the United States and Europe commemorated the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the events of that... Read more

Troops of E Company, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, wade onto the Fox Green section of Omaha Beach, June 6, 1944.

Pope Francis honors each of the soldiers of D-Day

Jun 6, 2014

In a letter sent Friday to French bishops, Pope Francis paid homage to the men who fought in the D-Day... Read more

Swiss Guards march through Vatican City.

Vatican bombing in WWII was work of Italian fascists, author says

Nov 13, 2013

By Andrea Gagliarducci

Following the 70th anniversary of the bombing of the Vatican in World War II, the author of a new book... Read more

Pope Pius XII.

Historian: Catholic Church pivotal in rescue of Roman Jews

Oct 16, 2013

By Andrea Gagliarducci

The efforts of the Catholic Church were undoubtedly decisive in the escape of most of Rome's Jews during World War... Read more

Mrs. Graziella Viterbi, on the door of the house where she lodged with her family in Borgo Aretino, within the walls of Assisi.

Holocaust survivor thanks Pope for Church's aid in WWII

Oct 5, 2013

By Andrea Gagliarducci

The last living person whom the Bishop of Assisi saved from being killed during the Holocaust met with Pope Francis... Read more


'Everything is lost in war,' Pope says of WWII church bombing

Jul 19, 2013

Pope Francis echoed the words of World War II pontiff Pius XII in a message today marking 70 years since... Read more

Francesco Manicardi (far right) speaks about his grandfather during the June 4, 2013 press conference in Vatican Radio's Marconi Hall.

Church to beatify father of seven who saved 100 lives

Jun 4, 2013

Odoardo Focherini will be beatified in the Italian city of Carpi on June 15 for his life of faith and... Read more


Catholic nurse executed by Nazis remembered in Rome

Mar 7, 2013

Blessed Maria Restituta, a Catholic nurse who was decapitated by the Nazis in March of 1943, was remembered for her... Read more


New documentary released on Catholic heroine who confronted Nazis

Jul 12, 2012

The heroic life of Magdalena Truel Larrabure, a young Catholic woman died at the hands of Nazis during World War... Read more

The late Irena Sendler.

Tribute concert held for Catholic who saved Jewish children

Jul 9, 2012

A concert was held July 5 at the Melbourne Recital Centre to remember Irena Sendler, the Polish Catholic who saved... Read more

Pope Pius XII.

Holocaust museum praised for corrections to Pius XII exhibit

Jul 5, 2012

Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial has made changes to a controversial exhibit on Pope Pius XII, presenting a more balanced... Read more