07.02.

1878: Blessed Pope Pius IX – Last Ruler of the Papal State with 3.1 Million Inhabitants

1878: Blessed Pope Pius IX – Last Ruler of the Papal State with 3.1 Million Inhabitants
Photo Credit To http://mstecker.com/images/Europe/rome2011/smmconfessio-IMG_1454a.jpg

Pope Pius IX was also a temporal lord over a large part of Italian territory, while all later popes were basically limited to the Vatican and a few smaller holdings in Rome and central Italy.

 

Blessed Pope Pius IX died in the Vatican on this day in 1878. He was the pope with the longest pontificate in history (excepting St. Peter, the length of whose pontificate cannot be accurately determined). Namely, Pius IX spent a total of 31 years, 7 months and 23 days as the pope, which means his pontificate lasted more than 5 years longer than that of the second-longest one, that of John Paul II (26 years, 5 months and 18 days).

 

Pius IX was the pope from 1846 until 1878, which means that he was at the head of the Papal States at the time of great political and social upheaval. Until 1870 the Papal States were territorially one of the largest states in Italy, until they were incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy. Until 1870, Pius IX was also the temporal ruler over a large part of Italian territory, while all later popes were limited to the Vatican and a few smaller holdings in Rome and central Italy.

 

The Papal States under Pius IX encompassed an area of around 41,740 square kilometers. They had their own money, army, and even a navy. The pope was basically a monarch who ruled over more than 3.1 million people. In addition to Rome, the pope also ruled over Bologna, Ravenna, Ferrara, Ancona, Rimini, and Perugia.

 

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