About this Famous Person

PIE XI

Italian PIE XI

born Ambrogio Damiano Achille RATTI

Pope from 6 February 1922 until his death on 10 February 1939

Source :  Lionel CORCY

Born: on May 31, 1857 in Desio, Lombardy-Venetia, Austrian Empire
Died: on February 10, 1939 in Apostolic Palace, Vatican City


Biography

Achille Ratti had the most unusual papal career in the 20th century. Throughout his life he was an accomplished scholar, librarian and humble priest. He celebrated his 60th birthday as a priest on 31 May 1917 and fewer than five years later, on 10 February 1922, he was elected Pope, succeeding Pope Benedict XV, who was only thirty months older and thus from the same generation as Ratti. In those five years he had short stints as papal nuncio in Poland, which forced him to leave the country, and as Archbishop of Milan and Cardinal-Priest of Ss. Silvestro e Martino ai Monti, where he served for a few months before being elected Pope. He chose the name Pius, and his personality was strong, similar to Pius IX and Pius X. But as a scholar, he was open to science and research like no other Pope since Leo XIII. To establish or maintain the position of the Church, he fostered and concluded a record number of concordats including the Reichskonkordat with Germany. Under his pontificate, the 1870 stalemate concerning the Roman Question with Italy over the status of the papacy was finally solved in the Lateran Treaty of 1929 with the assistance of Cardinal Pietro Gasparri and Francesco Pacelli, brother of the future Pope Pius XII. He was unable to stop the Terrible Triangle consisting of massive Church persecution and killing of clergy in Mexico, Spain and the Soviet Union. While in Mexico and Spain, the persecution was mainly directed against the Catholic Church, hostility in the Soviet Union were directed against all Christians but especially against the Eastern Catholic Churches united with the Vatican. He vehemently protested against both Communism and National Socialism as demeaning to human dignity and a violation of basic human rights, but found no echo or support in the democracies of the West, which he labelled a Conspiracy of Silence. Against totalitarian demands, he fostered the freedom of families to determine on their own the direction of education of their children.

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See Also :

- Category Pope