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Pope Pius IX

Pope Pius IX (Latin: Pius IX ; 13 May 1792

7 February 1878), born Giovanni Maria MastaiFerretti,[lower-alpha 1] reigned from 16 June 1846 to his
death in 1878. He was the longest-reigning elected pope
in the history of the Catholic Church over 31 years.
During his ponticate, he convened the First Vatican
Council (186970), which decreed papal infallibility, but
the council was cut short due to the loss of the Papal
Pius IX dened the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, meaning that Mary was
conceived without original sin. Pius IX also conferred the
title Our Mother of Perpetual Help on a famous Byzantine icon from Crete entrusted to the Redemptorists.
He was also the last pope to rule as the Sovereign of the
Papal States, which fell completely to the Italian army in
1870 and were incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy.
After this, he was referred to chiey by himself as the
"Prisoner of the Vatican".
After his death in 1878, his canonization process was
opened on 11 February 1907 by Pope Pius X and it drew
considerable controversy over the years. It was closed on
several occasions during the ponticates of Pope Benedict XV and Pope Pius XI. On 7 December 1954, Pope
Pius XII re-opened the cause and Pope John Paul II proclaimed him Venerable on 6 July 1985. Together with
Pope John XXIII he was beatied on 3 September 2000
after the recognition of a miracle and was assigned the
liturgical feast day of February 7 which is the date of his

Pope Pius IX

nationalists, which included the assassination of his Minister of the Interior, Pellegrino Rossi, among others, and
which forced him briey to ee Rome in 1848 led to
his growing skepticism towards the liberal, nationalist
agenda. Through the 1850s and 1860s, Italian nationalists made military gains against the Papal States, which
culminated in the seizure of the city of Rome in 1870.
Thereafter, Pius IX refused to accept the Law of Guarantees from the Italian government, which would have made
the Holy See dependent on legislation that the Italian parliament could modify at any time. His Church policies
towards other countries, such as Russia, Germany and
France, were not always successful, due in part, to changing secular institutions and internal developments within
these countries. However, concordats were concluded
with numerous states such as Austria-Hungary, Portugal,
Spain, Canada, Tuscany, Ecuador, Venezuela, Honduras,
El Salvador and Haiti.


Europe, including the Italian peninsula, was in the midst

of considerable political ferment when the bishop of
Spoleto, Cardinal Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, was
elected pope. He took the name Pius, after his generous
patron and the long-suering prisoner of Napoleon Bonaparte, Pius VII. He had been elected by the faction of
cardinals sympathetic to the political liberalization coursing across Europe, and his initial governance of the Papal States gives evidence of his own liberal sympathies:
Under his direction various sorts of political prisoners in
the Papal States were released and the city of Rome was
granted a constitutional framework under guidance of his
friend, philosopher-prince Antonio Rosmini-Serbati. A
series of terrorist acts sponsored by Italian liberals and

Many contemporary Church historians[4] and journalists

question his approaches.[5] His appeal for public worldwide support of the Holy See after he became The prisoner of the Vatican resulted in the revival and spread
to the whole Catholic Church of Peters Pence, which is
used today to enable the Pope to respond to those who

are suering as a result of war, oppression, natural disaster, and disease.[6] In his Syllabus of Errors, still highly
controversial,[7] Pius IX condemned the heresies of secular society, especially modernism.
He was a Marian pope, who in his encyclical Ubi primum
described Mary as a Mediatrix of salvation. In 1854,
he promulgated the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, articulating a long-held Catholic belief that Mary,
the Mother of God, was conceived without original sin.
In 1862, he convened 300 bishops to the Vatican for the
canonization of Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan. His most
important legacy is the First Vatican Council, which convened in 1869. This Council discussed many issues, especially the dogma of papal infallibility, which Pius was eager to have ocially dened by the council; but the council was interrupted as Italian nationalist troops threatened
Rome. The council is considered to have contributed to
a centralization of the Church in the Vatican.[8]


Ferretti, and was baptized on the same day of his birth

with the name of Giovanni Maria Giambattista Pietro
Pellegrino Isidoro. He was educated at the Piarist College in Volterra and in Rome. As a theology student in
his hometown Sinigaglia, in 1814 he met Pope Pius VII,
who had returned from French captivity. In 1815, he entered the Papal Noble Guard but was soon dismissed after an epileptic seizure.[5] He threw himself at the feet of
Pius VII, who elevated him and supported his continued
theological studies.

The pope originally insisted that another priest should

assist Mastai during Holy Mass, a stipulation that was
later rescinded, after the seizure attacks became less
frequent.[11] Mastai was ordained priest in April 1819.
He initially worked as the rector of the Tata Giovanni Institute in Rome. Shortly before his death, Pius VII sent
him as Auditor to Chile and Peru in 1823 and 1825 to
assist the Apostolic Nuncio, Monsignore Giovanni Muzi
in the rst mission to post[9]
Pius IX, who suered from epilepsy, was beatied by and Monsignore Bradley Kane,[12]
The mission had the obPope John Paul II on 3 September 2000. His Feast Day
Catholic Church in the
is 7 February.
newly independent South American republics. He was
thus the rst pope ever to have been in America. When
he returned to Rome, the successor of Pius VII, Pope Leo
2 Early life and ministry
XII appointed him head of the hospital of San Michele
in Rome (18251827) and canon of Santa Maria in Via
Pope Leo XII appointed Father Mastai-Ferretti
Archbishop of Spoleto, his own hometown, in 1827 at
the age of 35.[11] In 1831, the abortive revolution that
had begun in Parma and Modena spread to Spoleto;
the Archbishop obtained a general pardon after it was
suppressed, gaining him a reputation for being liberal.
During an earthquake, he made a reputation as an
ecient organizer of relief and great charity.[11] The
following year he was moved to the more prestigious
diocese of Imola, was made a cardinal in pectore in 1839,
and in 1840 was publicly announced as Cardinal-Priest
of Santi Marcellino e Pietro. As in Spoleto, his episcopal
priorities were the formation of priests through improved
education and charities. He became known for visiting
prisoners in jail, and for programs for street children.[13]
According to historians, Cardinal Mastai-Ferretti was
considered a liberal during his episcopate in Spoleto and
Imola because he supported administrative changes in
the Papal States and sympathized with the nationalist
movement in Italy.

3 Papal election
Main article: Papal conclave, 1846
The conclave of 1846, following the death of Pope Gregory
XVI (183146), took place in an unsettled politiAn 1819 picture showing Mastai-Ferretti at his rst Holy Mass
cal climate within Italy. Because of this, many foreign
Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti was the ninth child born Cardinals decided not to attend the conclave. At its start,
in Senigallia into the noble family of Girolamo dei conti only 46 out of 62 cardinals were present.

a move that contradicted the general mood throughout
Europe. By the second day of the conclave, on 16
June 1846, during an evening ballot, Mastai-Ferretti was
elected pope. He was a glamorous candidate, ardent,
emotional with a gift for friendship and a track-record of
generosity even towards anti-Clericals and Carbonari. He
was a patriot, known to be critical of Gregory XVI "[14]
Because it was night, no formal announcement was given,
just the signal of white smoke. Many Catholics had assumed that Gizzi had been elected successor of St. Peter.
In fact, celebrations began to take place in his hometown,
and his personal sta, following a long-standing tradition,
burned his cardinalitial vestments.

An 1846 picture of Pope Pius IX soon after his election to the


Moreover, the conclave of 1846 was steeped in a factional

division between conservatives and liberals. The conservatives supported Luigi Lambruschini, Gregory XVI's
Cardinal Secretary of State. Liberals supported two candidates: Pasquale Tommaso Gizzi and the then 54-yearold Mastai-Ferretti.[14] A fourth papabile was Cardinal
Ludovico Micara the Dean of the College of Cardinals
who was favored by the residents of Rome itself but he
never gained support among the cardinals.[15]
During the rst ballot, Mastai-Ferretti received 15 votes,
the rest going to Cardinal Lambruschini and Cardinal
Gizzi. Lambruschini received a majority of the votes
in the early ballots, but failed to achieve the required
two-thirds majority. Cardinal Gizzi was favored by the
French government but failed to get further support from
the cardinals and the conclave ended up ultimately as
a contest between Cardinals Lambruschini and MastaiFerretti.[15] In the meantime, Cardinal Tommaso Bernetti reportedly received information that Karl Kajetan
von Gaisruck the Austrian Archbishop of Milan was on
his way to the conclave to veto the election of MastaiFerretti. According to historian Valrie Pirie, Cardinal
Bernetti realized that if Lambruschini was to be stopped
and Mastai-Ferretti was to be elected he had to convince the cardinals within a few hours or accept the election of Lambruschini.[15] Bernetti then on his own initiative personally convinced the majority of the electors
to switch their support to Mastai-Ferretti.[15] Cardinal
Mastai-Ferretti himself however made no eort to campaign for the papacy, made no promises and maintained
aloofness throughout the process.[15]

On the following morning, the senior Cardinal-Deacon,

Tommaso Riario Sforza, announced the election of
Mastai-Ferretti before a crowd of faithful Catholics.
When Mastai-Ferretti appeared on the balcony, the mood
became joyous. Mastai-Ferretti chose the name of Pius
IX in honor of Pope Pius VII (180023), who had encouraged his vocation to the priesthood despite his childhood
However, Mastai-Ferretti, now Pope Pius IX, had little diplomatic and no curial experience at all, which did
cause some controversy. The government of the Empire of Austria as represented by Prince Metternich in
its foreign aairs objected to even the possible election
of Mastai-Ferretti. Thus, Cardinal Gaisruck, Archbishop
of Milan, was sent to present the Austrian ocial veto
against Mastai-Ferretti. However, Gaisruck arrived too
late; the new Pope was already elected.[16] Pius IX was
crowned on 21 June 1846.

4 Papacy
The election of the liberal Pius IX created much enthusiasm in Europe and elsewhere. Although he was not unknown and had done nothing on an administrative level
before his election, and although there were no utterances
from him, he increased in fame and popularity.

For the next twenty months after the election,

Pius IX was the most popular man on the Italian peninsula, where the exclamation Long
life to Pius IX!" was often heard.[17]

English Protestants celebrated him as a friend of light and

a reformer of Europe towards freedom and progress.[18]
Faced with deadlock and persuaded by Bernetti to keep He was elected without political inuences from outside
Lambruschini from being elected pope, liberals and mod- and in the best years of his life. He was pious, progressive,
erates decided to cast their votes for Mastai-Ferretti in intellectual, decent, friendly, and open to everybody.[19]

largely French and Austrian. The Pope considered moving to Germany (see below).
After the French loss in the Franco-Prussian War of
18701871, the Papal States lost its protector and were
absorbed by Italy. Germany actively persecuted the
Church for a decade after the war.[21]

Cardinal Secretary of State Antonelli


Governing the Church


The end of the Papal States was not the only important
event in the long ponticate of Pius. His leadership of
the Church contributed to an ever-increasing centralization and consolidation of power in Rome and the papacy.
While his political views and policies were hotly debated,
his personal life style was above any criticism; he was considered a model of simplicity and poverty in his every day
aairs.[20] More than his predecessors, Pius used the papal pulpit to address the bishops of the world. The First
Vatican Council, which he convened to consolidate papal
authority further, was considered a milestone not only in
his ponticate but also for Church history.[8]

Church rights

The Church policies of Pius IX were dominated with a

defence of the rights of the Church and the free exercise
of religion for Catholics in countries like Russia and the
Ottoman Empire. He also fought against what he perceived to be anti-Catholic philosophies in countries like
Italy, Germany and France. Many of the Popes subjects
wanted to be Italian instead. The soldiers who guarded
the Pope from Italians (between 1849 and 1870) were

Pope Pius IX, Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, Italy.

4.1.3 Jubilees
Pius IX celebrated several jubilees including the 300th
anniversary of the Council of Trent. Pius celebrated the
1,800th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Apostle Peter and Apostle Paul on 29 June 1867 with 512 bishops,
20,000 priests and 140,000 lay persons in Rome.[22] A
large gathering was organized in 1871 to commemorate
the 25th anniversary of his papacy. The Italian government in 1870 outlawed many popular pilgrimages. The
faithful of Bologna organized a nationwide spiritual pilgrimage to the pope and the tombs of the apostles in
1873.[23] In 1875, Pius declared a Holy Year that was
celebrated throughout the Catholic world. On the 50th
anniversary of his episcopal consecration, people from
all parts of the world came to see the old ponti from 30


Reforms in the Papal States

April 1877 to 15 June 1877. He was a bit shy, but he valued initiative within the Church and created several new
titles, rewards and orders to elevate those who in his view
deserved merit.[24]



Main article: Cardinals created by Pius IX

Pius IX created a total of 122 new Cardinals the limit of
the College of Cardinals was 70 of which 64 were alive
at his death. Noteworthy elevations included Vincenzo
Pecci, his eventual successor Leo XIII; Nicholas Wiseman of Westminster; Henry Edward Manning; and John
McCloskey, the rst American ever to be elevated into
the College of Cardinals.[25]

Sovereign Ruler of the Papal States. His rule was considered secular, and as such, he was occasionally accorded
the title king.[26] However, whether this was ever a title
accepted by the Holy See is unclear. One of the most
fervent contemporary critics of his infallibility dogma,
Ignaz von Dllinger, considered the political regime of
the pope in the Papal States as wise, well-intentioned,
mild-natured, frugal and open for innovations.[27] Yet
there was controversy. In the period before the 1848 revolution, Pius was a most ardent reformer advised by such
innovative thinkers as Rosmini who were able to reconcile the new free thinking concerning human rights with
the classical natural law tradition of the Churchs teaching in political aairs and economic order (social justice
teachings). After the revolution however, his political reforms and constitutional improvements were considered
minimalist, remaining largely within the framework of
the 1850 laws mentioned above.[28]

Sovereign of the Papal States

5.1 Reforms in the Papal States

Main article: Papal States under Pope Pius IX

Pius IX was not only pope, but until 1870, also the

St.Peters Plaza before Pius IX added statues of Peter and Paul

An 1870 German drawing shows Pius IX as Papst und Knig,

Pope and King'

As liberal Europe applauded his election, he introduced

political reforms on a broad scale. He initiated the construction of railways, and the installation of street lighting
throughout Rome. He improved agricultural technology
and productivity via farmer education in newly created
scientic agricultural institutes. He abolished the requirements for Jews to attend Christian services and sermons
and opened the papal charities to the needy of them.[14]
He gave much to charities, living like a pauper. The new
pope freed all political prisoners by giving amnesty to revolutionaries, which horried the conservative monarchies
in the Austrian Empire and elsewhere[14] Within one year
of his election, he appointed an assembly of lay people
to assist in the governing of the Papal States. His actions were applauded by Protestant statesmen. He was
celebrated in New York, London and Berlin as a model



Governmental structure

In 1848, Pius IX released a new constitution titled the

Fundamental Statute for the Secular Government of the
States of the Church. The governmental structure of the
Papal States reected the dual spiritual-secular character
of the papacy. The secular or laypersons were strongly
in the majority with 6,850 persons versus 300 members
of the clergy. Nevertheless, the clergy made key decisions and every job applicant had to present a character
evaluation from his parish priest to be considered.[29]



A view of the pastoral setting in the centre of Rome showing the

Coloseum and Foro Romano around 1870

Financial administration in the Papal States under Pius IX

was increasingly put in the hands of laypersons. The budget and nancial administration in the Papal States had
long been subject to criticism even before Pius IX, and
did not end with his papacy. In 1850, he created a govern- Throughout Italy but also in the Papal States, maamental nance congregation consisting of four laypersons type criminal bands threatened commerce and travellers
in several regions, engaging in robbery and murder at
with nance background for the 20 provinces.


Commerce and trade

Pius IX is credited with systematic eorts to improve

manufacturing and trade by giving advantages and papal
prizes to domestic producers of wool, silk and other materials destined for export. He improved the transportation
system by building roads, viaducts, bridges and seaports.
A series of new railway links connected the Papal States
to northern Italy. It became soon visible, that the Northern Italians were more adept to exploit economically the
modern means of communication than the inhabitants in
central and Southern Italy.[30]



The justice system of the Papal States was subject to numerous accusations, not unlike the justice systems in the
rest of Italy. There was a general lack of legal books
and standards and accusations of partiality of the judges.

133 people were executed during Pius IXs rule in the

Papal States.

5.6 Military
A unique position was granted to the papal army, at that
time consisting almost exclusively of foreigners: the Roman Black Nobility was not willing to serve, and the population resisted military service despite a decent salary
structure and the potential for promotion. A main element of the papal army was the Swiss Guard. The number of papal soldiers in 1859 was 15,000.[32]
5.6.1 Universities
The two papal universities in Rome and Bologna suered
much from revolutionary activities in 1848 but their standards in the areas of science, mathematics, philosophy
and theology were considered adequate.[33] Pius recog-


Social life

5.7 Social life

There was one newspaper, Giornale di Roma, and one periodical, Civilta Cattolica, run by Jesuits.[33] When Marcantonio Pacelli, the grandfather of Eugenio Pacelli, approached Pius about an ocial newspaper, LOsservatore
Romano, which printed what the pope said and did the
previous day, Pius turned him down. Pacelli published
anyway, and Leo XIII bought it from him a few years

5.8 Arts

Papal soldiers around 1860

An 1870 view of the Lateran

Like most of his predecessors, Pius IX was a patron of the

arts. He supported art, architecture, painting, sculpture,
music, goldsmiths, coppersmiths and more, and handed
out numerous rewards to its representatives.[35] Much
of his eorts were oriented to Churches in Rome and
in the Papal States, many of which were renovated and
5.8.1 Restorations and discoveries
Great eorts were undertaken to restore historic walls,
fountains, streets and bridges. He ordered the excavation
of Roman sites, which led to several major discoveries.
He ordered the strengthening of the Colosseum, which
was threatened with collapse.[37] Huge sums were spent
in the discovery of Christian catacombs, for which Pius
created a new archaeological commission in 1853.
A hagiographic presentation of Pius IX from 1873

5.9 Protestants and Jews

Main article: Pope Pius IX and Judaism

nized that much had to be done and instituted a reform The Papal States were a theocracy in which the Catholic
commission in 1851.
Church and Catholics had more rights than members of
During his tenure, Catholics and Protestants collaborated other religions. Pius IXs policies became increasingly
to found a school in Rome to study international law reactionary over time: At the beginning of his pontiand train international mediators committed to conict cate, together with other liberal measures, Pius opened
the Jewish ghetto in Rome. After returning from exile


in 1850, during which the Roman Republic issued sharp

anti-Church measures,[38] the Pope issued a series of antiliberal measures, including re-instituting the Ghetto.[39]
In 1858, in a highly publicized case, the police of the Papal States seized a 6-year-old Jewish boy, Edgardo Mortara, from his parents. A Christian servant girl of the
family, fearing he would die, had reportedly baptized him
while he was ill. The Papal state law did not permit Christians to be raised by Jews, even their own parents. Pius
raised the boy in the papal household and the boy later
was ordained a priest.

Policies toward other nations

their previous activities and his concessions only provoked greater demands as patriotic Italian groups sought
not only a constitutional government which he was sympathetic to but also the Unication of Italy under his
leadership and a war of liberation against Catholic Austria, which claimed the northern Italian provinces as its

The statue of Saint Peter was placed in the basilica by Pope Pius

By early 1848, all of Western Europe began to be convulsed in various revolutionary movements.[41] The Pope,
claiming to be above national interests, refused to go to
war with Austria, which totally reversed the up to now
popular view of him in his native Italy.[40] In a calculated, well-prepared move, Rossi was assassinated on 15
November 1848, and in the days following, the Swiss
Guards were disarmed, making the Pope a prisoner in his

Pius IX was the last pope who was also a secular ruler
as monarch of the Papal States. As sovereign-ruler of
the Papal States, he ruled over 3 million people and conducted diplomatic relations with other states, the most
important of which was Italy, which in 1870 ended the
independent Papal States and reduced the papacy to a A Roman Republic was declared in February 1849.
Pius responded from his exile by excommunicating all
miniature state.



Main article: Pope Pius IX and Italy

Well aware of the political pressures within the Papal
States, Pius IXs rst act of general amnesty for political
prisoners did not consider the potential implications and
consequences: The freed revolutionaries merely resumed

He visited the hospitals to comfort the wounded and sick

but he seemed to have lost both some of his liberal tastes
and his condence in the Romans, who had turned against
him in 1848. Pius decided to move his residence from the
Quirinal Palace inside Rome to the Vatican, where popes
have lived ever since.[27] He reformed the governmental
structure of the Papal States on 10 September 1850 and
its nances on 28 October in the same year.


United Kingdom

in the Vatican one night after she voiced anxiety about her
safety. She and her assistant were the rst women to stay
the night inside the Vatican.[46]

6.3 United Kingdom

Inside of Saint Peters around 1870

End of the Papal States

England for centuries was considered missionary territory for the Catholic Church.[47] Pius IX changed that
with the Bull Universalis Ecclesiae (29 September 1850).
He re-established the Catholic hierarchy in England and
Wales, under the newly appointed Archbishop and Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman with 12 additional episcopal
seats: Southwark, Hexham, Beverly, Liverpool, Salford,
Shrewsbury, Newport, Clifton, Plymouth, Nottingham,
Birmingham and Northampton.[48] Some violent street
protests against the papal aggression resulted in the
Ecclesiastical Titles Act 1851 being passed by Parliament, which on penalty of imprisonment and nes forbade any Catholic bishop to use any episcopal title 'of any
city, town or place, or of any territory or district (under
any designation or description whatsoever), in the United
Kingdom'.[49] The law was never enforced and was revoked twenty years later.[50]

After defeating the papal army on 18 September 1860

at the Battle of Casteldardo, and on 30 September at
Ancona, Victor Emmanuel took all the Papal territories
except Latium with Rome. In 1866 he granted Pius IX
the Law of Guarantees (13 May 1871) which gave the
Pope the use of the Vatican but denied him sovereignty
over this territory, nevertheless granting him the right to
send and receive ambassadors and a budget of 3.25 million liras annually. Pius IX ocially rejected this oer
(encyclical Ubi nos, 15 May 1871), retaining his claim to
all the conquered territory.


The Dutch government instituted religious freedom for

Catholics in 1848. In 1853, Pius erected the Archdiocese
6.2 Mexico
of Utrecht and four dioceses in Haarlem, Den Bosch,
With Napoleon IIIs establishment of the Second Mex- Breda and Roermond under it. As in England, this reican Empire and Maximilian I of Mexico as its ruler sulted in a popular outburst of anti-Catholic sentiment,
in 1864, the Church was looking for some relief from which as in England, soon subsided.
a friendly government after the anti-clerical actions of
Benito Jurez. Jurez had recently suspended payment
6.5 Spain
on foreign debt and seized Church property.
Pius had blessed Maximilian and his wife Charlotte of
Belgium before they set o for Mexico to begin their
reign.[44] But the friction between the Vatican and Mexico would continue with the new Emperor when Maximilian insisted on freedom of religion, which Pius opposed.
Relations with the Vatican would only be resumed when
Maximilian sent a recently converted American Catholic
priest Father Fischer to Rome as his envoy.

Spain traditionally Catholic oered a challenge to

Pius IX as anti-clerical governments were in power from
1832, resulting in the expulsion of religious orders, the
closing of convents, the closing of Catholic schools and
libraries, the seizure and sale of churches and religious
properties and the inability of the Church to ll vacant
dioceses.[52] In 1851, Pius IX concluded a concordat with
Queen Isabella II, which stipulated that unsold Church
properties were to be returned, while the Church renounced properties that had already passed owners. This
exibility of Pius led to Spain guaranteeing the freedom
of the Church in religious education.[52]

Contrary to Fischers reports back to Maximilian, the

negotiations did not go well and the Vatican would not
budge.[45] Maximilian sent his wife Charlotte to Europe
to plead against the withdrawal of French troops. After an unsuccessful attempt at negotiating with Napoleon
III, Charlotte then traveled to Rome to plead with Pius in
1866. As the days passed Charlottes mental state became 6.6 United States
overtly paranoid.
She sought refuge with the pope, and she would eat and Main article: Pope Pius IX and the United States

drink only what was prepared for him, fearful that everything else might be poisoned. The pope, though alarmed, Pope Pius IX approved the unanimous request of
was accommodating to her and even agreed to let her stay American bishops that the Immaculate Conception be in-



6.9 Austria
The 1848 revolution had mixed results for the Catholic
Church in Austria-Hungary. It freed the Church from the
heavy hand of the state in its internal aairs, which was
applauded by Pius IX. Similar to other countries, AustriaHungary had signicant anti-Catholic political movements, mainly liberals, which forced the emperor FranzJoseph I in 1870, to renounce the 1855 concordat with the
Vatican. Austria had already in 1866 nullied several of
its sections concerning the freedom of Catholic schools
and prohibition of civil marriages.[55] After diplomatic
approaches failed, Pius responded with an encyclical on
7 March 1874, demanding religious freedom and freedom of education. Despite these developments, there
was no equivalent to the German Kulturkampf in Austria, and Pius created new dioceses throughout AustriaHungary.[56]

Pius IX elevated John McCloskey as the rst American to the

College of Cardinals on 15 March 1875.

voked as the Patroness of the United States of America Expulsion of the Russian envoy to the Holy See Felix von Meyenon 7 February 1847.
dor by Pope Pius IX for insulting the Catholic faith
A letter Pius IX wrote to Jeerson Davis, addressing him
as the Illustrious and Honorable President of the Confederate States of America, was seen by some as the 6.10 Russia
highest international recognition the Confederate States
of America ever received.[53]
Main article: Pope Pius IX and Russia
Pius IX elevated John McCloskey as the rst American
to the College of Cardinals on 15 March 1875.
The Ponticate of Pius IX began in 1847 with an Accomodamento, a generous agreement, which allowed Pius
to ll vacant Episcopal Sees of the Latin rites both in Russia (Baltic countries) and the Polish provinces of Rus6.7 Canada
sia. The short-lived freedoms were undermined by the
Orthodox Church, Polish political aspirations in the ocPius IX increased the number of Canadian dioceses from
cupied lands and the tendency of imperial Russia to act
four to 21 with 1,340 churches and 1,620 priests in
against any dissent. Pius rst tried to position himself in
the middle, strongly opposing revolutionary and violent
opposition against the Russian authorities, and, appealing to them for more Church freedom. After the failure
6.8 Concordats
of the Polish uprising in 1863, Pius sided with the persecuted Poles, protesting their persecutions, infuriating the
Pius IX signed concordats with Spain, Austria, Tuscany, Tsarist government to the point that all Catholic dioceses
Portugal, Haiti, Honduras, Ecuador, Nicaragua, El Sal- were eliminated by 1870.[57] Pius criticized the Tsar
without naming himfor expatriating whole communivador and Russia.[25]

ties to Siberia, exiling priests, condemning them to labour
camps and abolishing Catholic dioceses. He pointed to
Siberian villages Tounka and Irkout, where in 1868, 150
Catholic priests were awaiting death.[58]

6.11 Poland
Main article: Pope Pius IX and Poland

Plans to leave Rome

The Lateran Basilica

that is capable of protecting the head of their

Church. [...] But the King [William I] will
not consent. He is terribly afraid. He thinks
all Prussia would be perverted and he himself
would be obliged to become a Catholic. I told
him, however, that if the Pope begged for asylum he could not refuse it. He would have to
grant it as ruler of ten million Catholic subjects who would desire to see the head of their
Church protected.[60]
Rumours have already been circulated on
various occasions to the eect that the Pope
intends to leave Rome. According to the latest of these the Council, which was adjourned
in the summer, will be reopened at another
place, some persons mentioning Malta and others Trient. [... ] Doubtless the main object
of this gathering will be to elicit from the assembled fathers a strong declaration in favour
of the necessity of the Temporal Power. Obviously a secondary object of this Parliament
of Bishops, convoked away from Rome, would
be to demonstrate to Europe that the Vatican
does not enjoy the necessary liberty, although
the Act of Guarantee proves that the Italian
Government, in its desire for reconciliation and
its readiness to meet the wishes of the Curia, has actually done everything that lies in its

Several times during his ponticate, Pius IX considered leaving Rome. One occurrence was in 1862, when
Giuseppe Garibaldi was in Sicily gathering volunteers for 8 Theology
a campaign to take Rome under the slogan Roma o Morte
(Rome or Death). On 26 July 1862, before Garibaldi and
Main article: Theology of Pope Pius IX
his volunteers were stopped at Aspromonte:
Pius was adamant about his role as the highest teaching
authority in the Church.[62] He promoted the foundations
Pius IX conded his fears to Lord Odo
of Catholic Universities in Belgium and France and supRussell, the British Minister in Rome, and
ported Catholic associations with the intellectual aim to
asked whether he would be granted political
explain the faith to non-believers and non-Catholics. The
asylum in England after the Italian troops had
Ambrosian Circle in Italy, the Union of Catholic Workers
marched in. Odo Russell assured him that he
in France and the Pius Verein and the Deutsche Katholiswould be granted asylum if the need arose, but
che Gesellschaft in Germany all tried to bring the Catholic
said that he was sure that the Popes fears were
faith in its fullness to people outside of the Church.[63]
Two other instances occurred after the Capture of Rome 8.1 Mariology
and the suspension of the First Vatican Council. Otto von
Bismarck conded these to Moritz Busch:
Pius shared a strong devotion to the Virgin Mary with
many of his contemporaries, who contributed to Roman
As a matter of fact, he [Pius IX] has already
Catholic Mariology. Marian doctrines featured promiasked whether we could grant him asylum. I
nently in 19th century theology, especially the issue of
have no objection to itCologne or Fulda. It
the Immaculate Conception of Mary. During his ponwould be passing strange, but after all not so
ticate, petitions increased requesting the dogmatization
of the Immaculate Conception. In 1848 Pius appointed
inexplicable, and it would be very useful to us
a theological commission to analyze the possibility for a
to be recognised by Catholics as what we really
Marian dogma.[64]
are, that is to say, the sole power now existing



The First Vatican Council presided by Pius IX

Pope Pius IX proclaimed two dogmas


Thirty-eight Encyclicals

pope make such decisions without the bishops? This foreshadowed one topic of the First Vatican Council, which
he later convened for 1869.[67] The Pope did consult the
bishops beforehand with his encyclical Ubi primum (see
below), but insisted on having this issue claried nevertheless. The Council was to deal with Papal Infallibility,
enhancing the role of the papacy and decreasing the role
of the bishops.[67] The role of the bishops was to be dealt
with at the Council, but it was disbanded because of the
imminent attack by Italy against the Papal States. Thus,
the major achievements of Pius IX are his Mariology and
Vatican I.[67]

Main article: List of encyclicals of Pope Pius IX

8.4 Inuence

Pius issued a record 38 encyclicals. They include:

Qui pluribus (1846) dealt with faith and religion;
Praedecessores nostros (1847) with aid for Ireland; Ubi
primum 1848 with The Immaculate Conception; Nostis
et nobiscum 1849 with the Church in the Papal States;
Neminem vestrum 1854 with the bloody Persecution of
Armenians; Cum nuper 1858 with the care for Clerics; Amantissimus 1862 with the Care of the Churches;
Meridionali Americae 1865 with the Seminary for the
Native Clergy; Omnem sollicitudinem 1874 about the
Greek-Ruthenian Rite; Quod nunquam 1875 the Church
in Prussia. On 7 February 1862 he issued the papal constitution Ad universalis Ecclesiae, dealing with the conditions for admission to religious orders of men in which
solemn vows are prescribed. Unlike popes in the 20th
century, Pius IX did not use encyclicals to explain the
faith, but to condemn what he considered errors.[65] Pius
IX was the rst pope to popularize encyclicals on a large
scale to foster his views.

Pius IX approved 74 new religious congregations for

women alone.[68] In France, Pius IX created over 200
new dioceses and created new hierarchies in several


First Vatican Council

Pius decisively acted on the century-old disagreement between Dominicans and Franciscans regarding the Immaculate Conception of Mary, deciding in favor of the Franciscan view.[66] However, this decision, which he formulated as an infallible dogma, raised a question: Can a

9 Last years and death

Pius IX lived just long enough to witness the death of
his old adversary, Victor Emmanuel II of Italy in January 1878. As soon as he learned about the seriousness of the situation of the king, he absolved him of all
excommunications and other ecclesiastical punishments.
Pius IX died one month later on 7 February 1878 at 5:40
pm, of epilepsy, which led to a seizure and a sudden heart
attack, while saying the rosary with his sta.[69]
Since 1868, the Pope was plagued rst by facial erysipelas
and then by open sores on his legs.[70] Nevertheless,
he insisted on celebrating daily Mass. The extraordinary heat of the summer of 1877 worsened the sores
to the eect that he had to be carried. He underwent
several painful medical procedures, which he undertook
with remarkable patience. He spent most of his last
few weeks in his library, where he received cardinals
and held audiences.[71] On 8 December, the Feast of the
Immaculate Conception, his situation improved markedly
to the point that he could walk again. By February, he


Pius IX death mask

Pius IX in 1877

could say Mass again on his own in standing position, enjoying the popular celebration of the 75th anniversary of
his rst communion. Bronchitis, a fall to the oor, and
rising temperature worsened his situation after 4 February 1878. He continued joking about himself, when the
Cardinal Vicar of Rome ordered bell-ringing and nonstop prayers for his recuperation. Why do you want to
stop me from going to heaven?" he asked with a smile. He
told his doctor that his time had come.[72] Pope Pius IX
died on 7 February 1878, aged 85, concluding the longest
ponticate in papal history, after that of St Peter whom
tradition holds had reigned for 37 years. His last words
were Guard the church I loved so well and sacredly, as
recorded by the Cardinals kneeling beside his bedside.
His body was originally buried in St. Peters grotto, but
was moved in a night procession on 13 July 1881 to the
Basilica of Saint Lawrence outside the Walls. When the
cortege approached the Tiber River, a group of anticlerical Romans threatened to throw the con into the river
but a contingent of militia arrived.[73]

Obelisk in honor of Pope Pius IX. Jalisco, Mexico

times.[74] The Italian government had since 1878 strongly

opposed beatication of Pius IX. Without Italian opposition, Pope John Paul II declared him venerable on 6 July
1985, and beatied him on 3 September 2000 (his commemoration is 7 February).

The beatication of Pius IX was controversial, and was

criticized by some Jews and Christians because of what
was perceived as his authoritarian, reactionary politics;
The process for his beatication, which in the early stages the accusation of abuse of episcopal powers; and perwas strongly opposed by the Italian government, was ceived anti-Semitism (specically, in the case of Edgardo
begun on 11 February 1907, and recommenced three Mortara).[75]





Pius IX celebrated his silver jubilee in 1871, going on to
have the longest reign in the history of the post-apostolic
papacy, 31 years, 7 months and 23 days. As his temporal sovereignty was lost, the Church rallied around him,
and the papacy became more centralized, to which his
personal life-style of simplicity and poverty is considered
to have contributed.[76] From this point on, the papacy
became and continues to become increasingly a spiritual, and less a temporal, authority. Pius IXs ponticate
marks the beginning of the modern papacy.

A painting of the pope.

Having started as a liberal, Pius IX turned conservative

after being thrown out of Rome. Thereafter, he was considered politically conservative, but a restless and radical reformer and innovator of Church life and structures. Church life, religious vocations, new foundations
and religious enthusiasm all ourished at the end of his
ponticate.[68][77] Politically, his ponticate ended with
the isolation of the papacy from most major powers of
the world: The prisoner of the Vatican had poor relations with Russia, Germany, and the United States, poor
relations with France and open hostility with Italy. Yet he
was most popular with the faithful in all these countries, in
many of which Pope Pius associations were formed in his
support. He made lasting Church history with his 1854
infallible decision of the Immaculate Conception, which
was the basis for the later dogma on the Assumption.
His other lasting contribution is the invocation of the
ecumenical council Vatican One, which promulgated the
denition of Papal infallibility. With his advice he helped
Saint John Bosco found the Salesian Society, for which
reason he is also called don Boscos Pope.[78]
The Prophecy of the Popes, attributed to Saint Malachy,
is a list of 112 short phrases in Latin. They purport to
describe each of the popes. It describes Pius IX as Crux
de Cruce, Cross of the cross.

12 Photos of Pope Pius IX

Card. Pecci (Leo XIII) certies the death of Pope Pius IX



The art of photography developed during Pius IXs ponticate, and he was the rst pope to be photographed,
mainly in his later years.
Some contemporaries of Pius IX like Cardinal Giuseppe
Pecci considered photography inferior to painting and refused to be photographed. Pius, however, was open to the
new form of art.

Tomb of Blessed Pius IX




Picture showing the massacre of Perugia citizens by the papal

troops, 20 June 1859

One enduring popular touch lies in Pius IXs artistic legacy as author of the Italian-language lyrics of
Italys best-known indigenous Christmas carol, Tu
scendi dalle stelle (From starry skies descended),
originally a Neapolitan language song written by
Saint Alphonsus Liguori.
During his stay at the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, on 8
September 1849, Pope Pius IX had the experience
of a train trip from Portici to Pagani, so he became
enthusiastic about this modern invention. When he
went back to his seat in Rome, he promoted the
growth of a railroad network, starting in 1856 with
the Rome and Frascati Rail Road. By 1870, the
length of railway lines built in the Papal States was
317 kilometres (197 mi). He also introduced gas
lighting and the telegraph to the Papal States.

In two nights after his 1846 pardon freeing all political prisoners, thousands of Romans with torches
roamed to the Quirinal Palace, where Pius IX lived,
celebrating the pope with Evvivas, speeches and music through both nights. The Pope went several times
to the balcony to give his blessing. On the third
day, when his horse-drawn carriage left the Palace to
move to the Vatican, Romans unhitched the horses
and pulled the papal carriage on their own[79]
On 16 November 1848, an excited mob of revolutionaries moved to the Quirinal and the Parliament
to present to the Pope their demands, especially war
Pope Pius IX Funeral.
against Austria. The Pope reportedly replied, his
dignity as head of state and of the Church does not
permit him to full conditions of rebels. Following
To commemorate his term as pope, there is a street
this, the Quirinal was covered by cannon re, which
in Montreal called Pie-IX (Pie-Neuf), French for
caused several deaths. After that, to save lives, the
Pius IX. There is also a stop on the Montreal Metro
Pope agreed to a list of proposed ministers, although
system called Pie-IX serving the street, located at
stating that he would abstain from any cooperation
the foot of the Olympic Stadium. In addition, there
with them.
are streets in Santiago, Chile, and Macon, Georgia,
After the French troops, who protected the Papal
called Po Nono, Italian for Pius IX and a secondary
States, left Rome, an Italian army with 60,000 men
school with the same name (Pio IX) in Buenos
approached the city, which was defended by only
Aires, Argentina.
10,000 papal soldiers. The Pope instructed his soldiers to give only token resistance and to enter an
Pope Pius IX died aged 85 on 7 February 1878 afarmistice after the rst defeat because the Deputy
ter a ponticate of 32 years. It was his last wish
of Christ does not shed blood. When the old Porta
to be buried not in the Vatican but in the Basilica
Pia was bombarded, opening a huge hole for the indi San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, his casket to be orvaders, the Pope asked the white ag to be shown. It
nated with a simple cross that was not to cost more
was his last act as King of the Papal States.[81] The
than 400 Scudi. At the request of Italian authorities,
last papal shot at the Porta Pia was red by an Austhe funeral took place three years later in the middle
trian alumnus of the Stella Matutina.[82]
of the night on 12/13 July 1881. It was accompanied by the clergy and Roman society. The houses
Pius IX was lampooned by reference to the Italian
along the streets were illuminated with torches, and
version of his name (Pio Nono), as Pio No No.
people threw owers from the window on the horse His occasional mood changes and emotional outdrawn carriage. A group of anti-Catholic nationalbursts have been interpreted as symptoms of his
ists screaming, Long live Italy! Death to the Pope!
Death to the Priests!" tried to steal the body of the


pope and throw it into the Tiber River.[85] The simple grave of Pius IX was changed by his successor,
John Paul II, after his beatication.


[21] Carroll, James (2001). Constantiness Sword. pp. 479

494. ISBN 0-395-77927-8. Ch 48: Setting a Standard:
The Church Against Bismarck
[22] Schmidlin 294



[1] English: John Mary Mastai-Ferretti

[23] Schmidlin 297

[24] Schmidlin 299
[25] Franzen 364



[26] About, Ch I: The Pope as a King

[27] Schmidlin 45


SENIGALLIA (in Italian)". Papa Pio IX. Retrieved 18
March 2015.
[2] Cause of Beatication (in Italian)". Papa Pio IX. 2000.
Retrieved 18 March 2015.
[3] Cause of Beatication (in Italian)". Papa Pio IX. 2000.
Retrieved 18 March 2015.

[28] Schmidlin 47
[29] Stehle 47
[30] Schmidlin 52
[31] Schmidlin 49
[32] Schmidlin 50

[4] Eamon Duy, 222235

[33] Schmidlin 53

[5] Van Biema, David Not So Saintly?" TIME magazine, 27

August 2000

[34] Gagliarducci, Andrea. Pope Francis carries forward

papal commitment to peace, Catholic News Agency,
September 77, 2013

[6] Peters Pence. Retrieved 2013-06-23.

[7] Challenge to the Church by William Pfa | The New
York Review of Books. Retrieved 201306-23.

[35] Schmidlin 55
[36] Capitelli, 17147.
[37] Schmidlin 61

[8] Franzen 363

[38] Pougeois II, p. 429.
[9] Joseph I. Sirven, MD, Talks About the Epilepsy of Pope
Pius IX, The Mayo Clinic, 3 Jan. 2008.
2008-01-03. Retrieved 2013-06-23.
[10] Angelus, John Paul II, 8 February 2004
[11] Schmidlin 8
[12] El Papado y la Iglesia naciente en Amrica Latina (1808
1825) ". Retrieved 2013-06-23.
[13] Schmidlin 10
[14] Duy 222
[15] Valrie Pirie. The Triple Crown: An Account of the Papal Conclaves Pius IX (Mastai-Ferretti)".

[39] Pougeois III,258

[40] Duy 223
[41] 1848:
Year of Revolution, Michael Retrieved 2013-06-23.


[42] Schmidlin 35
[43] Piux IX, Roberto De Mattei, Page 33.
Retrieved 2013-06-23.
[44] casa imperial de Mexico. Retrieved
[45] The Cactus Throne; the Tragedy of Maximilian and Carlotta

[16] Burkle-Young 2000, p. 34.

[17] In den nchsten zwanzig Monaten war Pius IX. der populrste Mann der Halbinsel; des Rufes Evviva Pio nono!
war kein Ende mehr. (Seppelt Ler: Papstgeschichte,
Mnchen 1933, p. 408.). See (download)

[46] Prince Michael (2002). The Empress of Farewells.

Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press. ISBN 978-0-87113836-1.
[47] Franzen. 363

[18] Pougeous I, 215

[48] Shea 195

[19] Schmidlin 23

[49] Report of the House of Commons Select Committee on

Ecclesiastical Titles and Roman Catholic Relief Acts, 2
August 1867, p. 89

[20] Franzen 357


[50] Text of the Ecclesiastical Titles Act 1871 as in force today

(including any amendments) within the United Kingdom,
from the UK Statute Law Database

[79] Schmidlin 26

[51] Shea 205206

[81] Schmidlin 89.

[52] Shea 204

[82] Josef Knnz SJ 100 Jahre Stella Matutina 18561956

J.N.Teutsch, Bregenz 1956;

[53] Google Books. Jeerson Davis: The Man and His Hour
Escrito by William C. Davis
[54] Schmidlin 212
[55] Franzen 362
[56] Schmidlin 141143
[57] Shea 274 .

[80] Schmidlin 29

[83] H. Schneble. Pope Pious IX, epilepsy. Famous people

who suered from epilepsy. Pious IX. Retrieved 2013-06-23.
[84] Rita Watson, MPH, Joseph I. Sirven, MD, Talks About the
Epilepsy of Pope Pius IX.
[85] Schmidlin 103104

[58] Shea 277

[59] [Jasper Ridley, Garibaldi, Viking Press, New York
(1976) p. 535
[60] Moritz Busch Bismarck: Some secret pages of his history,
Vol. I, Macmillan (1898) p. 220, entry for 8 November
[61] Moritz Busch Bismarck: Some secret pages of his history,
Vol. II, Macmillan (1898) pp.4344, entry for 3 March
[62] Schmidlin 313
[63] Schmidlin 313315

16 Further reading
About, Edmund (1859). The Roman Question. New
York: D. Appleton and Company.
Acta et decreta Pii IX, Ponticis Maximi, VolI-VII,
Romae 1854
Acta et decreta Leonis XIII, P.M. Vol I-XXII, Romae, 1881,
Actae Sanctae Sedis, (ASS), Romae, Vaticano 1865

[65] Italy, Switzerland, Prussia and others

Barwig, Regis N. (1978). More Than a Prophet:

Day By Day With Pius IX. Altadena: Benziger Sisters.

[66] Franzen, 340

L. Boudou, Le S. Siege et la Russie, Paris, 1890

[64] Bumer 245

[67] Franzen 340

[68] Duy 234
[69] Schmidlin 100102
[70] see Martina III, and
Papst%20Pius%20IX..html (German)
[71] Schmidlin 101
[72] Schmidlin 102
[73] The Oxford Dictionary of Popes,J.N.D. Kelly, Oxford
1987 p.310
[74] Woodward 31011.
[75] Milavec, Aaron (2007). Salvation is from the Jews (John
4:22): saving grace in Judaism and messianic hope in
Christianity. Liturgical Press. pp. 15960. ISBN 9780-8146-5989-2.
[76] Franzen Kirchengeschichte 336

Burkle-Young, Francis A. (2000), Papal Elections

in the Age of Transition, 18781922, Lexington
Books, retrieved 2012-07-15.
Capitelli, Giovanna, Mecenatismo ponticio e borbonico alla vigilia dell'unit, Viviani Editore, Rome,
2011 ISBN 8879931482
Chiron, Yves, Pope Pius IX: The Man and The
Myth, Angelus Press, Kansas City-MI, 2005 ISBN
Corcoran, James A. Pius IX and His Ponticate,
The American Catholic Quarterly Review, Vol. III,
De Cesare, Raaele (1909). The Last Days of Papal
Rome. London: Archibald Constable & Co.
Duy, Eamon, Saints and Sinners, a History of the
Popes Yale University Press, 1997

[77] Schmidlin pp292

Franzen, August, Papstgeschichte, Herder, Freiburg,

1988 (cit.Franzen)

[78] IX. Piusz, don Bosco ppja, in: Don Bosco Kalendrium
2011, Szalzi Szent Ferenc Trsasga Budapest 2010, site

Franzen, August, Kleine Kirchengeschichte Herder,

Freiburg, 1991 (cit.Franzen, Kirchengeschichte)



Hasler, August Bernhard (1981). How the Pope Became Infallible: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuasion. Doubleday.
Hasler, August Bernhard (1979). Wie der Papst unfelhlbar wurde: Macht und Ohnmacht eines Dogmas.
R. Piper & Co. Verlag.
Kertzer, David I. (2004). Prisoner of the Vatican:
The Popes Secret Plot to Capture Rome from the
New Italian State. Houghton Miin. ISBN 0-61822442-4.
Martina, S.J. Pio IX (18461850) Roma: Editrice
Ponticia Universita Gregoriana, Vol I-III, 1974
Mooney, John A. Pius IX and the Revolution, 1846
1848, The American Catholic Quarterly Review,
Vol. XVII, 1892.
Pougeois, Histoire de Pie IX, son ponticat et son
siecle, Vol I-VI, Paris, 1877
Schmidlin, Josef, Papstgeschichte, Vol I-IV, KstelPusztet Mnchen, 19221939
John Gilmary Shea, The Life of Pope Pius IX, New
York, 1877
Sylvain, Histoire de Pie IX le Grand et de son ponticat, Vol I,II, Paris, 1878
Franz Spirago, Pldatr (Examples from life; from
6. German edition translated Bezerdj Lszl),
Szent Istvn-Trsulat Budapest, 1927
Woodward, Kenneth L. (1996). Pius IX and
the Posthumous Politics of Canonization. Making
saints: how the Catholic Church determines who becomes a saint, who doesn't, and why. Simon and
Schuster. pp. 30935. ISBN 978-0-684-81530-5.
Retrieved 16 July 2010.


External links

Pope Pius IX (His Encyclical Writings)

Biography with pictures (German)
Pope Pius IX: text with concordances and frequency
Catholic-Hierarchy entry
The Last Days of Papal Rome by Raaele De Cesare
(1909) London, Archibald Constable & Co.
Pius IX (17921878)" by Derek Michaud in The
Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology




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