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Pope Pius, XI

Photo added by Frank McGady

Pope Pius, XI

  • Birth 31 May 1857 Desio, Provincia di Monza e della Brianza, Lombardia, Italy
  • Death 10 Feb 1939 Vatican City
  • Burial Vatican City
  • Memorial ID 7840303

He was born Achille Ratti in Descio, Italy near Milan, the son of a silk merchant. Becoming a priest at age 22, he worked many years in Milan's Ambrosian Library and the Vatican Library. He was named cardinal-archbishop of Milan in 1921. At the death of Pope Benedict XV, Ratti was elected pope on February 6, 1922 and chose the name Pius XI. His ascension coincided with Mussolini's rise to power in Italy, causing constant conflict with the Facist government. Later in 1937, after Hitler came to power in Germany, Pius XI denounced the Nazi government and it's practices. Pius XI spoke out continually against nationalism, racism, and totalitarianism and their menace to human dignity. He created the new feast of Christ the King, established to recall the rights of religion in the state. Pius established the Vatican broadcasting station. He canonized over 20 saints, including Sir Thomas More. He died of natural causes at age 81, only months before the outbreak of World War II. Pius XI chose for his tomb a spot in the Papal Grotto occupied by some of the Jacobite kings of England. They were moved to another location in the Grotto, however, when workers were digging in the Grotto for Pius' tomb, they unearthed ancient archeological sites and tombs, included what is believed to be the tomb of St. Peter. Today it is called the Necropolis. Pius XI's tomb is just to the right as you enter the Grotto.

Bio by: Frank McGady


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Frank McGady
  • Added: 6 Sep 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7840303
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Pope Pius, XI (31 May 1857–10 Feb 1939), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7840303, citing Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City ; Maintained by Find A Grave .