New York: The Barry Vail Corporation, 1931. Limited edition. Quarto (12 1/2 inches tall), original three-quarter red crushed morocco, marbled boards, top edge gilt, uncut. Partially unopened, very minor edge-wear and faint toning to top of front board. A wonderful copy. Item #551
"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, one of a limited edition of only 1000 copies. Dismayed by the increasingly broad consideration and acceptance of divorce, contraception, sterilization, and abortion during the 1920s, Pius 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 Connubi ("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. With tissue-guarded photogravure frontispiece portrait of Pope Pius XI facing his papal arms printed in red on the title page. 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."