Saturday, 9 March 2013

Papal Retrospective : Pope Pius XI : 1

Pope Pius XI 1922 - 1939.
On 6th February, 1922, ACHILLE RATTI, Cardinal-Archbishop of Milan, was elected Pope by the College of Cardinals and took the name Pius XI. Pope Benedict XV had died suddenly at a relatively young age, and it was by no means clear who would succeed him. Cardinal Ratti was Elected on the fourtheenth ballot.

Achille Ratti was born in Desio, in the province of Milan 31st May 1857. He was ordained a priest in 1879, only one year after his predecessor, Giacomo Della Chiesa, later Benedict XV. Ratti was by inclination a scholar and until 1918, his entire priesthood had been steeped in teaching, writing and research. This changed dramatically when Pope Benedict sent him as Nuncio to Poland at the conclusion of World War One. Then in June 1921, only six months before his death in August 1914, Pope Benedict Elevated Monsignor Ratti to the Sacred College of Cardinals and appointed him Archbishop of Milan.

Pope Pius XI died on 10th February, 1939 at the age of 81. He is buried in the crypt of Saint Peter's Basilica.

An informative account of his life and work can be found here.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Cardinal Ratti in 1921.

Pope Pius XI being carried through S' Peter's after the Coronation Mass
February 1922.  This was the first Papal Mass in the Basilica since the
surrender of the Vatican State to Italian armies in 1870.

Pope Pius XI giving his Urbi et Orbi Blessing
from the Central Loggia of S' Peter's after his Coronation.
Pius XI was the first Pope to appear on the famous balcony since 1870.

A consistory for a Beatification held in the Sala Regia
presided over by Pius XI.

The Solemn Papal Mass in S' Peter's.

Pope Pius offering Low Mass at the Altar of the Confession in S' Peter's
on S' Joseph's Day, 1930.
It will be noted that the Pope is wearing a Gothic Revival chasuble.
Pope Pius gave his express approval to the restoration
of the form of the chasuble to a more ample size.

Pope Pius enthroned in S' Peter's during a Canonisation ceremony.

Pope Pius XI at his Cathedra as Bishop of Rome in the Lateran Basilica.