POPE PAUL VI, POPE JOHN XIII and ASTRONAUT EDWARD WHITE Mementos from the personal collection of astronaut Edward White, the first man to walk in space. Includes a commemorative medal struck for Paul VI's

Sale Price $1,360.00

Reg. $1,600.00

Condition: fine condition
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Mementos from the personal collection of astronaut Edward White, the first man to walk in space. Includes a commemorative medal struck for Paul VI's address to the UN General Assembly, an unsigned photo of John XXIII, and a signed letter from the Papal Observers at the UN thanking White and his Gemini crewmate James McDivitt for their visit.
Collection includes: 1) Ephemera, unsigned. Bronze medal (44 mm.) struck to commemorate the Pope's address to the UN General Assembly, with original carrying pouch. The medallion is engraved with the Papal seal and the phrase: "Paulus.VI.Pont.Max. U.N. 4 Oct. 1965". Verso shows the burning bush and the maxim: "Amoris Alumna Pas" [Student of Love and Peace]. 2) Photograph, unsigned. B/w, 4x5. Formal portrait of Pope John XXIII. 3) Typed Letter signed: "A. Giovanetti", ""G. Di Filippo", 1 page, 8x10½. New York, N.Y., 1966 February 4. On letterhead of the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations to Lt. Col. Edward H. White, NASA Astronaut, Houston, Texas. In full: "It has been with a great pleasure that I and Fr. Di Filippo have received your kind letters of January 19, and the enclosed photos, some of which we shall keep in this Office of the Holy See as a priceless souvenir of the inspiring conversation we had with you and Lt. Col. J. Divitt here, and some we have forwarded to our friends of the Home for Retarded and Aged People of Civitello del Tronto, Teramo, Italy. We want to thank you very much for your remembrance, and above all for the great privilege and honor of your visit at this Mission of the Holy Father soon after His historical visit to the United Nations. We would like also to reassure you and your space-mate that we remember you both in our prayers and wish you the abundance of heavenly blessings for a most successful career. God bless you and your families. Sincerely yours". [Giovanetti signature] "P.S. Fr. Di Filippo says that next time you go into orbit, please send a message from your space-ship to his friends in Civitella del Tronto, Italy (Lat. 43° NE + Lat. 14°NE ... approx." [Di Filippo signature]. Giovanni Battista Montini (1897-1978) led the Catholic Church as POPE PAUL VI from 1963 until his death in 1978. The former Archbishop of Milan, a close confidante of his two immediate predecessors (Pius XII and John XXIII) continued the Second Vatican Council begun by John, implemented the changes introduced by that conclave, including religious services in national languages, and tried to conciliate liberals and conservatives within the church. A strong advocate of Christian unity and of social justice, he also advocated active "dialogue with the world." His encyclical Humanae Vitae [Of Human Life] reaffirmed traditional Catholic opposition to artificial birth control as well as abortion. Angelo Giuseppe Roncali (1881-1963) was elevated to the Papacy in 1958, choosing the name POPE JOHN XXIII. Pope John convened the Second Vatican Council, which introduced widespread changes in the Catholic liturgy, opposed by some traditionalists. He was a strong advocate the Church's commitment to social justice, and of interfaith cooperation. He completed his last encyclical, Pacem in Terris [Peace on Earth] shortly before his death. As Papal Nuncio to Turkey and Greece during World War II, the future Pope aided the escape of many European Jews. EDWARD H. WHITE II (1930-1967) was the first man to walk in space, a feat accomplished during the Gemini 4 mission (June 3, 1965). White was so exhilarated by his spacewalk that James McDivitt, Gemini 4 Commander, had to order him back into the spacecraft. White never flew in space again, and so could not deliver the greeting requested by Father Di Filippo. He died in the tragic capsule fire during a pre-launch test of the Apollo space capsule (January 27, 1967). His sacrifice was not in vain, however, the fire revealed significant flaws on Apollo's design which were remedied before future missions. As noted in this transmittal letter, Gemini 4 astronauts White and McDivitt (b. 1929) had visited New York, and the Papal Mission, shortly after their historic spaceflight. Mc Divitt returned to space on the Apollo 9 mission, the first Earth orbital test of the Apollo Lunar Module. While no biographic information is available on Fathers Giovanetti and Di Filippo, the Vatican attaches great importance to its presence at the UN Headquarters in New York and at the specialized UN agencies in other cities. The UN visit of Paul VI in 1965 was the first of 4 Papal visits to date: by by John Paul II in 1979 and 1995, and by Benedict XVI in 2008. This Papal medallion and accompanying letter were part of Lt. Colonel White's personal collection. Letter: Lightly creased. Fine condition. Medallion and Case: Fine condition. Two items.

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