On this day 1846: The Papal conclave elected Pope Pius IX who reigned for almost 32 years till his death on February 7, 1878 making him the longest serving Pope in history.
Born on 13 May 1792, in Senigallia, Italy, Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti was a frail child with a lively intelligence. He moved to Rome in 1809 for higher education but was forced to abandon his studies twice because of illness.
He later became a catechist in 1816 and was ordained a priest in 1819. He served in many capacities in Italy and Chile until 1827 when he was consecrated Archbishop of Spoleto at the age of 35.
In the aftermath of the failed revolution in 1931, he obtained a pardon for all, including many who did not merit it. And in 1840 he received the Cardinal’s hat at the age of 48.
He remained of modest conduct shunning many honours but fate brought the greatest of them on the 16th of June 1846 when he was elected Pope.