Sue Young Histories

Pope Pius IX 1792 – 1878

March 09, 2010

Pope Pius IX 1792 – 1878, born Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti, was the longest reigning Pope in Church history, serving from 16 June 1846 until his death, a period of nearly 32 years.

Ferdinand Marie Vicomte de Lesseps was a negotiator for Pius IX,

Pope Pius IX also granted Alexandre Charge the Order of St. Gregory the Great for travelling to the South of Frace to treat a major cholera epidemic with homeopathy, and for the exceptional care he provided at this time,

In 1849-1864, at the request of his mentor Francois Magendie, Jean Paul Tessier conducted clinical trials into homeopathy at the St. Marguerite Hospital in Beaujohn in Paris, successfully treating pneumonia and cholera. The vitriolic attacks of the allopaths that resulted from the publication of these successful clinical trials into homeopathy were so atrocious they caused Pope Pius IX to come to Jean Paul Tessier’s defense. Pope Pius IX granted the Order of St. Gregory the Great to Jean Paul Tessier for his efforts,

In 1847, Francois Perrussel received a special apostolic letter from Pope Pius IX in remembrance of his work The Truth in Medicine Found and Demonstrated by the Laws of Universal Attraction,

Cesare Mattei was a friend and the homeopathic practitioner of Pope Pius IX (who had tried his remedies at the Santa Teresa Hospital at Rome), and he was made a Count by Pope Pius IX in honour of his achievements in electro homeopathy,

Pope Pius IX  promoted homeopath Giovanni Ettore Mengozzi to a Vatican Professorship, Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Rome in 1848,

Pope Pius IX awarded homeopath Friedrich Wilhelm Karl Fleischmann the Order of St. Gregory the Great in 1860,

Pope Pius IX postumously bestowed upon homeopath Father Augustus Muller the Apolistic Benediction in 1905

Pope Pius IX awarded Josephin Aime Peladan, the brother of Adrien Peladan (homeopath and associate of Samuel Hahnemann), the Order of Saint Sylvester,

Pope Pius IX sent Absolution to Giovanni Costa for placing himself in the hands of a homeopathic physician (Ladelci),

Politically, the pontificate after 1848 was faced with revolutionary movements not only in Italy but throughout Europe. Initially Pius was very liberal, freeing all political prisoners of his predecessor, and granting Rome a constitutional framework under guidance of his friend, philosopher prince Antonio Rosmini Serbati.

He turned conservative after assassinations (e.g. of his Minister of the Interior, Pellegrino Rossi), terrorist acts, and the 1848 revolution in Italy, France and Germany.

He had to flee Rome in 1848 for a short time and lost the Papal states permanently to Italy in 1870. He refused to accept a Law of Guarantees from Italy, which would have made the Vatican dependent on Italian financiers for years to come.

His Church policies towards other countries, such as Russia, Germany and France, were not always successful, due in part, to changing secular institutions and internal developments within these countries. However, concordats were concluded with numerous states such as Austria-Hungary, Portugal, Spain, Tuscany, Ecuador, Venezuela, Honduras, El Salvador and Haiti.

Many contemporary Church historians and journalists question his approaches. His appeal for public worldwide support of the Holy See — Peter’s Pence — after he became “The prisoner of the Vatican” is now the main source of income for the Holy See. The money, still collected each year, is today used by the Pope for support of the Roman Curia, the Vatican City State and philanthropic purposes.

In his Syllabus of Errors, still highly controversial, Pius IX stood up against what he considered heresies of secular society, especially modernism.

He was a Marian Pope, who in his encyclical Ubi Primum described Mary as a Mediatrix of salvation. In 1854, he promulgated the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, articulating a long held Catholic belief that Mary, the Mother of God, was conceived without original sin.

In 1862, he convened 300 bishops to the Vatican for the canonization of Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan. His most important legacy is the First Vatican Council, which convened in 1869. This Council discussed a number of issues, especially the dogma of papal infallibility which Pius insisted upon, but had to be interrupted indefinitely as military forces moved on Rome.

The council is considered to have contributed to a centralization of the Roman Catholic Church in the Vatican.

Pius IX, a most conservative pope, is paradoxically considered the first modern pope because the papacy grew in importance after the 1870 fall of the Papal States.

Pius IX, who suffered from epilepsy, was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 3 September

  1. His Feast Day is 7 February.

Of interest:

David Ferdinand Koreff was also a personal friend of Clemens August Alertz (1810-1866), who was the personal physician of Pope Pius IX,