Pope Pius IX Biography
(Head of the Catholic Church from 1846 to 1878)
Birthday: May 13, 1792 (Taurus)
Born In: Senigallia, Italy
Pope Pius IX was the head of the Catholic Church from 1846 until his death in 1878. He served for over 31 years and was the longest-reigning elected pope in history. His reign was marked by several notable events, including the assertion of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, the Syllabus of Errors, and meetings of the First Vatican Council. Born as Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti, he took the name Pius from his mentor and friend, Pope Pius VII, whom he met in 1814 as a theology student. The ninth child of Girolamo Mastai-Ferretti, Pope Pius IX first came into prominence as a bishop of the Italian Catholic Archdiocese of Spoleto-Norcia. After serving there from 1827 to 1832, he became diocese of Imola and was later made a cardinal in pectore. In 1840, he became the official cardinal-priest of Santi Marcellino e Pietro. After Pope Pius IX’s death in 1878, his canonization process was opened in February 1907 by Pope Pius X. February 7, the date of his death, marks his liturgical feast day.