Pius IX

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Pius IX (around 1864)
Signature of Pius IX
Coat of arms of Pius IX.

Pius IX , Also known as Pio Nono (* 13. May 1792 in Senigallia ( Papal States ) as the son of a count's family Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti , † 7. February 1878 in Rome ), was Pope from 1846 to 1878. In his pontificate - at age 31 and 8 months the longest demonstrable - fall the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary , the First Vatican Council with the propagation of the papal jurisdiction primacy and thepapal infallibility and the loss of the papal state to the Kingdom of Italy . In 2000 Pius IX. Beatified by John Paul II .


Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti came from a pious noble family. Affected in his youth by epilepsy , which however healed completely, after a visit to Rome in 1816 he felt the call to priest and enrolled at the Collegio Romano . In 1819 Mastai-Ferretti received in the church of Santa Maria in Cappella the priesthood . He then devoted himself to a Roman orphanage , S. Michele , named after the founder Tata Giovanni . In 1823 the Pope entrusted him with the participation in a diplomatic mission to Chile. The trip was as risky as it was unsuccessful, so that he returned to Rome in 1825 and became director of the S. Michele orphanage . He became Archbishop of Spoleto in 1827 , Bishop of Imola in 1832 and Cardinal in 1840 with the titular Church of Santi Pietro e Marcellino. In Imola, which was characterized by numerous conflicts at the time, the future Pope enjoyed sympathy among liberal forces.


Pius IX at the beginning of his pontificate

On June 16, 1846, Cardinal Mastai-Ferretti, supported by the moderate faction under Cardinal Paolo Polidori , succeeded Gregory XVI after only two days of conclave . elected Pope in the fourth ballot. Surprised by this unexpected decision, he accepted the election, choosing the Pope's name Pius IX. and was crowned with the tiara on June 21, 1846 . He was the last Papa Rè (pope-king), the same time as the Petrine ministry is a secular domination of the traditional Papal States exercised.

He began his rule with some liberal reforms, including a cautious expansion of press freedom in March 1847 and the establishment of a Roman city council in November of the same year, but turned against republicanism and the Italian unification movement of the 19th century. During the revolutionary uprisings of 1848 across Europe and also in the Papal States , after his Prime Minister Pellegrino Rossi had been murdered on November 15 , he fled with the cardinals to Gaeta on the coast of Naples-Sicily on November 24 . After the election to the constituent assembly, the short-lived Roman Republic was proclaimed on February 9, 1849 , which was led by a triumvirate with the participation of the radical democratic revolutionary Giuseppe Mazzini . On July 3, 1849, the republic was militarily defeated by French and Spanish intervention troops. Pius IX did not return to Rome until the spring of 1850 and moved his Roman residence from the Quirinal Palace to the Vatican, which has been the seat of the Popes since then.

He now pursued a conservative policy, which was particularly shaped by his Cardinal Secretary of State Giacomo Antonelli , who was in office until 1876 . He initially turned against the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I , who had ruled since 1848 and who pursued a liberal policy in the first years of his reign.

As in 1870 after the start of the French German War the French peacekeepers had been withdrawn from Rome, Italian troops broke the Papal States on after the capture of Rome. The Pope withdrew to the Vatican Palace. The Vatican as well as the Lateran and the papal summer residence Castel Gandolfo remained under the sovereignty of the papacy (which the Italian state only tolerated in fact until 1929) , which has had state sovereignty since 1929 . The guarantee law that Pius IX. Was ordered by the Italian government in 1871, he rejected the same as the new national state of Italy , his protest culminated in the encyclical Ubi nos of May 15, 1871 (see also Roman question , Lateran treaties ). He considered himself a prisoner in the Vatican .

Pius IX created John McCloskey to Cardinal, lithograph from 1875

After the dissolution of the Papal States, Pius IX changed with new cardinals. also the composition of the college of cardinals . Among the new cardinals, fewer came from the small towns of the former Papal States , but the Archbishop of New York John McCloskey became the first non-European cardinal in 1875.

Teaching position

Pius IX around 1860

Pope Pius IX published numerous theological writings and statements, including a. the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was prepared with the encyclical Ubi primum , it then followed on December 8, 1854, now the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the definition of the dogma with the papal bull Ineffabilis Deus . In 1864 the encyclical Quanta Cura appeared with the appendix Syllabus errorum . With the encyclical Cum sancta mater ecclesia in 1859 the Pope called for public prayer for peace.

The Syllabus errorum is a list of 80 statements that have been condemned as false by the Church. The freedom of conscience denied Pius IX. and called them daring and madness. This compilation was published together with the encyclical Quanta cura on December 8, 1864. The Syllabus errorum is essentially an excerpt from previous encyclicals, addresses, letters and apostolic letters. In the papal bull Non expedit of September 10, 1874 Pius IX forbade. Catholics under threat of withdrawal of ecclesiastical privileges both active and passive participation in elections in Italy.

The high point of his term of office was the First Vatican Council from 1869 to 1870, at which the infallibility of the Pope was decided when he proclaimed a question of faith or morals as finally decided ex cathedra . This led to the secession of Old Catholics in Germany and, in combination with internal political conflicts under Bismarck, to the Kulturkampf in the German Empire .

Pius IX died on February 7, 1878 in Vatican City . First he was buried in St. Peter . On July 13, 1881 the body was transferred to Sankt Laurentius Outside the Walls , where it is now buried. In his will, he had renounced the burial in the cathedral. “The one of Pius IX. The place chosen for his burial place, despite its inconspicuousness, has great and varied significance: first of all, it was legitimized by the custom of early Christianity and sanctified by the tradition of the burial sites of three popes of the 5th century; especially Sixtus III. a whole range of possibilities for identification. ”However, if you look at the grave in its entirety, it aims to become a place of pilgrimage, which in no way expresses modesty and seclusion,“ but rather the consequence of the political strategy of Pius IX ”, "Who, because of the total loss of worldly power, relies one last time completely on mass psychological effects."

His pontificate of almost 32 years is still the longest historically proven term of office in the history of the papacy. On the occasion of his 25th anniversary in office, a memorial plaque with a portrait of two angel figures was installed for him above the statue of Peter on the north-eastern crossing pillar in St. Since his beatification by Pope John Paul II in 2000 there has been a glass reliquary there.

Ceiling painting in the parish church of St. Josef , Reinhausen : Pope Pius IX. (who declared St. Joseph to be the patron saint of the Catholic Church) with flags of the Regensburg student and other church associations, the "workers' bishop" Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler of Mainz and the chairman of the center party Ludwig Windthorst


The canonization process was initiated as early as 1907, but the beatification did not take place until September 3, 2000 , despite numerous protests from Protestants , Orthodox , Jews and Catholic church historians. So - also because of the meanwhile inevitably lower level of awareness of Pius IX. - his beatification was not as much acclaimed by the believers in St. Peter's Square as the simultaneous beatification of John XXIII. (Pope from 1958 to 1963). However, Pope John Paul II had decided to raise the council popes of Vatican I and Vatican II at the same time to the honor of the altars in order to emphasize the continuity of Catholicism .

Pius IX supported Don Bosco in founding his Salesians , which is why Pius IX. also called "Don Bosco's Pope". Likewise, Pius IX supported. the establishment of the Order of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales by the French priest Louis Brisson , whom he recognized in 1875.

Since Pius IX. the St. Joseph declared the patron saint of the Catholic Church, in many he is dedicated to St. Church buildings consecrated to Joseph.

Among other things, the Pius Hospital Oldenburg bears his name.


Web links

Commons : Pius IX.  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Josef Schmidlin : Papal History . Kösel-Pusztet, Munich, p. 45 .
  2. Michael Sachs: 'Prince Bishop and Vagabond'. The story of a friendship between the Prince-Bishop of Breslau Heinrich Förster (1799–1881) and the writer and actor Karl von Holtei (1798–1880). Edited textually based on the original Holteis manuscript. In: Medical historical messages. Journal for the history of science and specialist prose research. Volume 35, 2016 (2018), pp. 223–291, here: p. 276.
  3. ^ Oskar Panizza : German theses against the Pope and his dark men. With a foreword by MG Conrad . New edition (selection from the “666 theses and quotations”). Nordland-Verlag, Berlin 1940, pp. 14 and 210.
  4. Michael Grobelowski: San Lorenzo fuori le mura and Pius IX. In: Titus Heydenreich: Pius IX. and the Papal States 1860–1870 . Erlangen 1995, pp. 95–135, p. 96, note 5.
  5. Michael Grobelowski: San Lorenzo fuori le mura and Pius IX. In: Titus Heydenreich: Pius IX. and the Papal States 1860–1870 . Erlangen 1995, pp. 95-135, p. 100.
  6. Michael Grobelowski: San Lorenzo fuori le mura and Pius IX. In: Titus Heydenreich: Pius IX. and the Papal States 1860–1870 . Erlangen 1995, pp. 95-135, p. 114.
  7. Michael Grobelowski: San Lorenzo fuori le mura and Pius IX. In: Titus Heydenreich: Pius IX. and the Papal States 1860–1870 . Erlangen 1995, pp. 95-135, p. 117.
  8. Saint Lexicon . Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  9. Ansgar Koschel: Catholic Church and Judaism in the 20th Century (= Religion - History - Society , Volume 26). LIT, Münster 2002, ISBN 3-8258-5507-4 , p. 154.
  10. Historians against the beatification of Pius IX. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . No. 146 of June 27, 2000.
  11. ^ Pope offends: Protests against Beatification , Der Spiegel , September 3, 2000
  12. Piusz IX .: Don Bosco Papaja. In: Don Bosco Kalendárium 2011. Szalézi Szent Ferenc Társasága, Budapest 2010, p. 8.
predecessor Office successor
Gregory XVI. C oa Pio IX svg Pope
Mario Ancaiani Archbishop of Spoleto
Ignazio Giovanni Cadolini