“Vatican Radio celebrates 93rd anniversary”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia, who shares the following announcement from Vatican News:

Vatican Radio celebrates 93rd anniversary

The birth of Vatican Radio, the ‘Pope’s radio,’ on February 12, 1931, and World Radio Day, celebrated on February 13, are an opportunity to revisit two significant chapters in the life of a medium marked by tremendous technological evolution, and which, from its origins, has always retained the same mission, that of reaching the corners and peoples of the earth.

By Amedeo Lomonaco

Two days in the 20th century, both in the month of February but in different years, intertwine with the history of the most widespread means of communication in the world: on February 12, 1931, Pope Pius XI inaugurated Vatican Radio. “Hear, O islands, and listen, O distant peoples,” declared the Pope in the radio message “Qui arcano Dei.”

Vatican Radio, the Pope’s Radio

It was Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of the radio, who announced the historic event: “For about twenty centuries, the Roman Pontiff has made the word of his divine teaching heard in the world, but this is the first time that his living voice can be perceived simultaneously over the entire surface of the Earth.”

The establishment of Vatican Radio has undoubtedly represented a significant moment in the history of media, having been founded in 1931. Its impact has been reflected not only in the dissemination of the Pope’s voice and the Catholic Church but also in the broader context of global communication.

The establishment of World Radio Day by UNESCO, with its date coinciding with the anniversary of Vatican Radio, underscores the importance and impact of this medium of communication globally.

From waves to the web

Radio has gone through various evolutionary stages, transitioning from traditional radio waves to the digital era and the internet, where it has transformed into web radios and podcasts.

In particular, the democratic aspect of radio has been emphasized as one of its fundamental values. It provides a space for all voices in society, including those often overlooked or ignored by mainstream media.

Furthermore, radio continues to play a crucial role as a public safety net during emergency situations, providing vital information and support to the community.

In summary, the history of Vatican Radio and the celebration of World Radio Day serve as a testament to the power and relevance of this medium in shaping society and facilitating global communication.

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2 thoughts on ““Vatican Radio celebrates 93rd anniversary”

  1. adi

    40 years ago, when Vatican Radio celebrates 50’th anniversary I received the largest award ever when I QSO’ed with 2 of it’s club stations.
    I still have it, 35X54cm printed on special heavy paper (replicate old scroll)
    I found this on YT
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PAyhyItZ2Q but that award is not shown.
    *I Think I have QSL from VR SW service from the 70/80’s also

  2. Rob Wagner

    Between 2012 and 2017, VR was reporting that it would close all its shortwave services. To its eternal credit, the service still operates today in various languages for listeners in Asia, South America, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. VR is still using the Santa Maria di Galeria site, but has also harnessed relay stations at Greenville NC, Tinang (Philippines), Talata-Volonondry (Madagascar), and Tinian (Nth Mariana Islands). I suspect the good Fathers at VR may have realised that many listeners in Africa, Asia, and parts of South America were not quite ready for Internet listening just yet.


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