Roman Catholic Pope. Born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, The longest-reigning pope, who played an important part in 19th century Italian and European developments. His election to the papacy following the death of Pope Gregory XVI was the result of a factional division in the conclave between conservatives and modernisers. Mastai-Ferretti was the liberal candidate, and on June 16, at the fourth scrutiny, he was elected - a key conservative had arrived too late to vote for an alternative candidate and thus deny Mastai-Ferretti a majority in the ballot. Mastai-Ferretti took the name Pius IX in memory of Pope Pius VII, an early benefactor to him. He abolished laws requiring Jews to live in specified neighborhoods, forbidding them to practice certain professions, and requiring them to listen to sermons four times per year aimed at their conversion. Judaism and Catholicism were the only religions allowed by law. In the United States of America he erected the Dioceses of: Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, and Galveston in 1847; Monterey, Savannah, St. Paul, Wheeling, Santa Fe, and Nesqually (Seattle) in 1850; Burlington, Covington, Erie, Natchitoches, Brooklyn, Newark, and Quincy (Alton) in 1853; Portland (Maine) in 1855; Fort Wayne, Sault Sainte Marie (Marquette) in 1857; Columbus, Grass Valley (Sacramento) Green Bay, Harrisburg, La Crosse, Rochester, Scranton, St. Joseph, Wilmington in 1868; Springfield and St. Augustine in 1870; Providence and Ogdensburg in 1872; San Antonio in 1874; Peoria in 1875; Leavenworth in 1877; the Vicariates Apostolic of the Indian Territory and Nebraska in 1851; Northern Michigan in 1853; Florida in 1857; North Carolina, Idaho, and Colorado in 1868; Arizona in 1869; Brownsville in Texas and Northern Minnesota in 1874. The so-called diocesan process of his beatification was begun on 11 February, 1907. Pope Pius IX was beatified on September 3, 2000.
Bio by: MC