Editor’s note: Adoremus Bulletin has been celebrating throughout the year the centenary of Romano Guardini’s The Spirit of the Liturgy. Guardini died on October 1, 1968—50 years ago this month. L’Osservatore Romano, the daily newspaper of the Holy See, printed the following obituary in its October 10, 1968 issue, including remarks from Pope Paul VI.
The distinguished German theologian, Romano Guardini, died in a Munich hospital, October 1st, at the age of 83. On receiving news of his death the Holy Father [Pope Paul VI] sent a telegram of sympathy to His Eminence Cardinal Doepfner of Munich and appointed the Chargé d’affaires of the Apostolic Nunciature in Germany to represent him at the funeral. The following is the text of the telegram:
To His Eminence Cardinal Doepfner:
We have been deeply moved by the unexpected death of Professor Romano Guardini. We recall with the greatest esteem his praiseworthy work and successful efforts as a scholar and writer for a greater understanding of theological truths and for the formation of a true, liturgical devotion. His work was inspired by an apostolic love and a sense of responsibility, as well as by loyalty to the Church and to the Apostolic See.
Praying the Lord to grant to his faithful servant a share in the heavenly glory, We cordially impart Our Apostolic Blessing to Your Eminence and to all who were near to him during his life as friends and relations.
PAULUS PP. VI
Professor Guardini was born in Verona in 1885 and as a child he went with his family to Mainz, Germany, where his father was the Italian consul. After completing his ecclesiastical studies in the Universities of Freiburg and Tubingen and in the Seminary of Mainz, he was ordained priest in 1910. For some years he dedicated himself to the care of souls in Mainz and to the apostolate of youth. He took his doctorate in theology in 1915 with a thesis on the theology of St. Bonaventure. In 1920 he taught theology at the University of Benno and three years later was called to the University of Berlin as Professor of Catholic Philosophy.
His dedication to the academic life by no means involved a withdrawal from pastoral experience. Among other things he reserved all his Sundays for the “university Masses” which were very well attended. His famous book on Christ, The Lord, is in substance a compendium of his Sunday sermons to the students during a period of four years.
Among his other famous writings are The Spirit of the Liturgy, Sacred Symbols (fundamental works in liturgical theology), The Essence of Christianity, A Portrait of Melancholy, The End of the Modern Age.