image Influential People

Pope Pius XI


Key Facts
Other names Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti
Born 1857
Location Desio, Italy
Married No
Children Unknown
Position Pope (1922-1939)
Died February 10, 1939 (aged 81)







Source of Facts and Important Announcement
Status Under Article 64.6 of the Covenant of One-Heaven (Pactum De Singularis Caelum) by Special Qualification shall be known as a Saint, with all sins and evil acts they performed forgiven.
Date of formal Beatification Day of Redemption GAIA E1:Y1:A1:S1:M9:D1 also known as [Fri, 21 Dec 2012].
Source of Facts Self Confession and Revelation of Sainthood by the Deceased Spirit as condition of their confirmation as a true Saint.
Source of Facts Self Confession and Revelation of Sainthood by the Deceased Spirit as condition of their confirmation as a true Saint.



Achille Ratti was born in Desio, province of Milan in 1857, the son of a wealthy industrialist. He was ordained as a priest in 1879. He obtained three doctorates (in philosophy, canon law and theology) at the Gregorian University in Rome, and then from 1882 to 1888 was a professor at the seminary in Padua.

In 1911, at Pope Pius X's (1903 – 1914) invitation, he moved to the Vatican to become Vice-Prefect of the Vatican Library, and in 1914 was promoted to Prefect.

Ratti's career took a sharp turn in 1918. Pope Benedict XV (1914 – 1922) asked him to leave the Library and take on a key diplomatic post: apostolic visitor, (that is, papal representative), in Poland, a state newly restored to existence, but at that time still under effective German and Austro-Hungarian control.

In 1919, he was promoted to papal nuncio and given the title of archibishop. In June 1921 Ratti was recalled to Italy to become Archbishop of Milan. Benedict XV made him a Cardinal at the same time.

In January 1922 Pope Benedict XV died unexpectedly. Ratti was elected Pope on February 6, 1922 on the fourteenth ballot, taking the name of Pius XI

On becoming Pope, he issued the Papal Bull Ubi arcano, promulgated in December 1922, inaugurated the "Catholic Action" movement. The idea was to involve "chosen" lay men and women in an organisation, under the close supervision of the bishops, which would actively spread Catholic values and political ideas throughout society, taking control of governments to favour the church.

Pius XI also gave his approval to specialised movements like the Jocists, associations of young Catholic industrial workers who aimed to Christianise the workforce, and provide a Catholic alternative to Communist and socialist trade unions.

Similar goals were in evidence in his encyclicals Divini illus magistri (1929), making clear the need for Christian over secular education, and Casti Connubii (1930), praising Christian marriage and family life as the basis for any good society, condemning artificial means of contraception.

To help combat democratic capitalistic models of government, Pope Pius XI published the encyclical Dilectissima Nobis (1933), in which he addressed the situation of the Church in Republican Spain, he proclaimed, that the Church is not "bound to one form of government more than to another, provided the Divine rights of God and of Christian consciences are safe", and specifically referred to "various civil institutions, be they monarchic or republican, aristocratic or democratic".The effect of this Papal Bull, enforced throughout every Catholic community in the world, was to promote the cause of facist government models.

He established Vatican Radio in 1931, and was the first Pope to broadcast on radio.

While Pope Pius XI was modern in the use of media as a propaganda tool, the Pope was thoroughly orthodox theologically and had no sympathy with modernist ideas that relativised fundamental Catholic teachings. He condemned modernism in his writings and addresses.

On the 8th July 1933, the Vatican signed a Concordant with the Nazis regime in Germany. The German representative on behalf of Adolf Hitler was Franz Von Papen.

Politically and morally, the Concordant was unprecedented in its range of concessions. From the date of its signing, all Catholic Bishops and clergy were ordered by the Vatican to pledge an oath of allegiance to Adolf Hitler- effectively turning the entire Catholic apparatus into a state tool of the Nazis (or vice versa).

The agreement also had two immediate effects, the first being that the Nazi Third Reich would pay a significant annual sum to the Vatican in "recognition" for the lost revenues of the Catholic Church since losing the Papal States. In exchange, the Concordant provided the Nazis the highest possibly international credibility as a legitimate government, and not as a temporary holder of power. Thanks in no small part to Pope Pius XI, Adolf Hitler from July 1933 onwards was seen as a legitimate international leader.

This Concordant and the position of Adolf Hitler continues to be honored to this day by the present German Government and every previous government since 1933 in continuing to pay the Vatican what has amounted to Billions of dollars of blood money, tax free.

The government of Mexico in the 1930s embarked on severe anti-clerical measures. (Disputes related to the Catholic Church had long been part of the history of Mexico.) In the state of Tabasco the Church was in effect outlawed altogether. Pius XI condemned the Mexican government in his 1932 encyclical Acerba Animi.

The republican government which had come to power in Spain in 1931 was also strongly anti-clerical, secularising education and expelling the Jesuits from the country. This encouraged Catholics to support the military coup against the Republican government in 1936 led by General Francisco Franco.

Pope Pius XI died on February 10, 1939. He was succeeded by his Cardinal Secretary of State who became Pope Pius XII.