Giovanni Ferretti became pontiff in 1846, taking the name Pius IX (a.k.a. Pio Nono). His 32-year pontificate (1846 – 78) was filled with military, political, and cultural turmoil, as Italian nationalists sought to unify Italy into a modern nation state. Pius IX strenuously opposed the unification movement, Il Risorgimento, (“Resurgence”)…..
Pius XII died on October 9, 1958, ending his nineteen-year reign as pope. On October 28, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, archbishop of Venice, was elected, to his great surprise, to be Pius’ successor (the presumed frontrunner candidate was Giovanni Montini, archbishop of Milan, who would become Pope Paul VI…..