Information about Pope Pius XI

Pope Pius XI (31 May 1857 - 10 February 1939)

Pope Pius XI, (Italian: Pio XI) born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti), was head of the Catholic Church from 6 February 1922 to his death in 1939. He was the first sovereign of Vatican City from its creation as an independent state on 11 February 1929. He took as his papal motto, "Pax Christi in Regno Christi," translated "The Peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ."

To establish or maintain the position of the Catholic Church, he concluded a record number of concordats, including the Reichskonkordat with Germany, whose betrayals of which convention he condemned four years later in the encyclical Mit brennender Sorge ("With Burning Concern"). During his pontificate, the longstanding hostility with the Italian government over the status of the papacy and the Church in Italy was successfully resolved in the Lateran Treaty of 1929. He was unable to stop the persecution of the Church and the killing of clergy in Mexico, Spain and the Soviet Union. He canonized important saints, including Thomas More, Petrus Canisius, Konrad von Parzham, Andrew Bobola and Don Bosco. He beatified and canonized Thérèse de Lisieux, for whom he held special reverence, and gave equivalent canonization to Albertus Magnus, naming him a Doctor of the Church due to the spiritual power of his writings. He took a strong interest in fostering the participation of lay people throughout the Catholic Church, especially in the Catholic Action movement. The end of his pontificate was dominated by speaking out against Hitler and Mussolini and defending the Catholic Church from intrusions into Catholic life and education.

He died on 10 February 1939 in the Apostolic Palace and is buried in the Papal Grotto of Saint Peter's Basilica. In the course of excavating space for his tomb, two levels of burial grounds were uncovered which revealed bones now venerated as the bones of St. Peter.

Pope Pius XI reigned in...
Reigned asIn CountryFromToCoins Issued
Papa Pius XI (Pope Pius XI) Flag of Holy See Holy See 6 February 1922 10 February 1939
Papa Pius XI (Pope Pius XI) Flag of Vatican Vatican 11 February 1929 10 February 1939 5
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