Monday, 4 March 2013

Papal Retrospective: Blessed Pius IX : 1

Blessed Pius IX (1846-1878).
On 16th June, 1846 GIOVANNI MARIA MASTAI-FERRETTI, Cardinal-Priest of Santi Marcellino e Pietro was elected Pope by the College of Cardinals and took the name Pius IX.

Mastai-Ferretti was born in May 1792 in the Archdiocese of Spoleto. He was ordained a priest in 1819. Pope Leo XII appointed Father Mastai-Ferretti Archbishop of Spoleto, his own hometown, in 1827 at the age of 35. He was named to the Sacred College in 1839.

Pius IX had the longest reign of any Pope in history.  He died at the age of 85 on 7th February, 1878. In the Jubilee Year of AD2000, Pope John Paul II beatified his predecessor, the Blessed Pius IX.

Pius IX was the first Pope to be photographed and for this reason we include in this first post some of these rare photographs even though they are not liturgical.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

An early photograph of Pius IX from the year 1860.

Greeting the Faithful during a Visit to Frosinone (south-east of Rome) in 1863.

A portrait of Pius IX from the late 1860's.

Pius IX surrounded by members of the Papal Household in the early 1870's.
The Secretary of State, Cardinal Antonelli, is marked with an arrow.
Antonelli was never a priest, one of the last who held the rank of a lay-cardinal
subsequently abolished by Benedict XV.

Another photograph from the same period with members of the Papal Court.

Below is a remarkable photograph from the year 1870, which shews a gathering of the Faithful together with the Papal Army in S' Peter's Square. On this occasion, Pius IX was on the Central Loggia of Saint Peter's giving his Blessing to the troops who were about to defend Rome against an invading force of confederated Italian armies. The Papal States were surrendered soon afterwards. S' Peter's Square today can be reached from the Ponte Sant'Angelo along the grand approach of the Via della Conciliazione (in honor of the Lateran Treaty of 1929). The spina (median with buildings) which once occupied this grand avenue leading to the square can be seen in this photograph. The buildings were demolished between 1936 and 1950.

Saint Peter's Square, 25th April 1870.

Next Post: Liturgical images of Blessed Pius IX.