“We must pray and pray much; for... no science, no human prudence can furnish a remedy to the evils that desolate the Church: the all-powerful arm of God is needed.
We must pray to Jesus Christ that he may give us as the Head of his Church a man, less remarkable by his science and human prudence, than by his fervor and his zeal for the honor of God; a man, absolutely inaccessible to every intrigue, who is above all human respect. For, if we have the misfortune to have a Pope elected, who is not a man that seeks only the glory of God, the Lord will aid us but little, and in the present state of things all will go from bad to worse.
Prayer, then, is the only remedy.
I have, therefore, written to all the houses of our humble Congregation, and have enjoined upon them to pray with more than ordinary fervor for the election of a new Pope.... Such is the advice that can be given by a miserable man like myself.”
Bishop of S. Agata dei Goti
Letter from Arienzo
24 October 1774