Blessed Pope Pius IX (1792-1878)
Feast Day: February 7
Beatification: September 3, 2000
Patron of the First Vatican Council, Diocese of Senigallia.
Blessed Pope Pius IX, born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti in Senigallia, Italy, was the longest-reigning pontiff in Church history, governing the Church for 32 years from 1846 to 1878.
He thus promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart, to the Immaculate Conception, and declared St. Francis de Sales a doctor of the church. In 1864, his renowned Syllabus of Errors condemned liberalism, modernism, moral relativism, secularization, and the separation of church and state.
In 1869, he convened the First Vatican Council, which formally decreed papal infallibility.
Pius IX was the last pope to rule as Sovereign of the Papal States, which fell to Italian nationalist armies in 1870 and were incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy.
St. Pope John Paul II beatified Pius IX in 2000. He is patron of the Diocese of Senigallia in Le Marche (Italy), and of Vatican I.