On 23rd March, 1875, Blessed Pope Pius IX issued his Enclyclical Graves Ac Diuturnae to the Bishops, to the Clergy, and to the Swiss People who enjoy Grace and Communion with the Apostolic See. Indeed, it was almost his last Encyclical. The forces of secularism were in the ascendent. They had deprived him of the States of the Church. They were depriving the Church of her rights across Europe and the World:
"6. We are very confident in the Lord, beloved sons, pastors, and clerics, that you, who have been ordained not only for your own sanctification and salvation but also for that of others, in face of this huge conspiracy of the unholy and of so many dangerous allurements will prove yourselves a strong comfort and help to your bishops because of your demonstrated piety and zeal. Under their leadership, you will eagerly take up the task of diligently working for the cause of God, for the Church, and for the salvation of souls. You will strengthen the powers of the faithful who stand firm, assist the weakness of those who falter, and increase daily before God the merits which you have already attained by patience, constancy, and priestly fortitude. The labors which those who act as ambassadors of Christ must sustain are very heavy at this time. But our trust should be placed in Him who has conquered the world. He helps those who labor in His name and rewards them with a crown of unfading glory in heaven."