The mysterious papal letter that went down with the Titanic

Catholic News Agency is out this week with a compelling look at the mystery surrounding a letter from Pope Pius X to President Taft that was lost to history with the tragic sinking of the RMS Titanic.

The letter, which was carried by Major Archibald Willingham Butt, was to be personally delivered from His Holiness to the U.S. president.

The major was touring Europe and took with him a letter from the president to the pope. In turn, the Holy Father sent his reply back along the same route. Major Butt then boarded the doomed ship on April 12.

He then perished while helping board women and children onto lifeboats, reportedly while keeping desperate men from stealing the few seats. The papal reply also perished at sea, along with more than 1500 souls.

What makes this story particularly intriguing is that the Vatican houses some of the oldest — and most historically significant — archives on the planet. And yet, the contents of this intriguing letter are lost to history.

[Read more from Catholic News Agency]