Natural Family Planning International, Inc. (NFPI)
Home NFP Resources Spiritual Resources Blog Contact

Breastfeeding Articles

Pope Pius XII Encourages Mothers to Breastfeed

On October 26, 1941 Pope Pius XII addressed a group of Italian mothers. He stressed the importance of the mother’s influence upon the soul and body of her infant. He urged all mothers to breastfeed their babies, if at all possible. Pius XII on that occasion:

We see in mothers those who exert the earliest and the most
intimate influence upon the souls of the little ones and upon
their growth in piety and virtue.

Surely there is no art more difficult and strenuous than that
of fashioning the souls of children; for those souls are so very
tender, so easily disfigured through some thoughtless influence
or wrong advice, so difficult to guide aright and so lightly led

This is the reason why, except where it is quite impossible,
it is more desirable that the mother should feed her child at her
own breast. Who shall say what mysterious influences are
exerted upon the growth of that little creature by the mother
upon whom it depends entirely for its development.1

1. Pius XII. The Major Addresses of Pope Pius XII: Vol. 1 Selected Addresses, Vincent A. Yzermans, ed., North Central Publishing, St. Paul, 1961, 44.