New York: The Barry Vail Corporation, 1931. Limited edition. Quarto (12 1/2 inches tall), original three-quarter red crushed morocco, marbled boards, gilt spine, top edge gilt, uncut. Partially unopened, very minor edge-wear and faint toning to top of front board. About Fine. Item #1351
"HOW GREAT IS THE DIGNITY OF CHASTE WEDLOCK, VENERABLE BRETHREN"
Handsome Latin and English printing of Pope Pius XI's encyclical on the Sacrament of Marriage—a most imposing limited edition printed by Daneil Berkeley Updike at the Merrymount Press. Complete with the tissue-guarded photogravure frontispiece portrait of the Holy Father wearing the traditional 'camuro rosso'—facing his papal arms printed in red on the title page.
Dismayed by the increasingly broad consideration and acceptance of divorce, contraception, sterilization, and abortion during the 1920s, Pius XI responded with this decisive and definitive papal encyclical. "Casti Connubii" was "given at Rome, in Saint Peter's, this 31st day of December, of the year 1930, the ninth of Our Pontificate." The encyclical outlines the history and blessings of matrimony, corrects the errors and condemns the evils harming the institution, and affirms the divine origin and permanence of marriage. "Perhaps the most important of his many encyclicals was Casti Connubii ("On Chaste Marriage"), 1930. It was long and wide ranging. While it spoke in positive terms about the beauty of the sacrament of matrimony, it was especially intent on condemning depraved morals to be found 'even among the faithful.' It insisted that a valid marriage could never be dissolved. What caused the encyclical to become one of the most cited even today is the relatively short but pointed and absolute condemnation of artificial birth control, that is, the use of any prophylactic method" (John W. O'Malley, A History of the Popes). The text is arranged with the original Latin facing the English translation. Printed by D.B. Updike at the Merrymount Press in Boston and published by John Barry Ryan of Rutland, Vermont as "The Barry Vail Corporation." The colophon states: "One thousand copies of this edition / of which five hundred and eighty / are for sale / were printed in the month of June / Pius XI happily reigning." Approbation: "Concordat cum originali, 9 Februarii, 1931 / Patricius Cardinalis Hayes / Archiepiscopus Neo-eboracensis."