Vatican City, officially State of the Vatican City (Latin: Status Civitatis Vaticanae; Italian: Stato della Città del Vaticano), is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome. At approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), it is the smallest independent state in the world.
Map of Italy in 1796, showing the Papal States before the Napoleonic wars changed the face of Italy.
Pope Pius IX (May 13, 1792 – February 7, 1878), born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, reigned as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from his election on June 16, 1846, until his death more than 31 years later in 1878. Pius IX was elected as the candidate of the liberal and moderate wings on the College of Cardinals, following the pontificate of arch-conservative Pope Gregory XVI. Initially sympathetic to democratic and modernizing reforms in Italy and in the Church, Pius became increasingly conservative after he was deposed as the temporal ruler of the Papal States in the events that followed the Revolutions of 1848. He formally defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and organized the First Vatican Council, which defined the dogma of papal infallibility.
John Paul II as a priest in Niegowić, Poland, 1948
Christ gives Peter the key to the Kingdom of Heaven, by Pietro Perugino.
He is also known as Gregory Dialogus (the Dialogist) in Eastern Orthodoxy because of the Dialogues he wrote. He was the first of the Popes from a monastic background. Gregory is a Doctor of the Church and one of the four great Latin Fathers of the Church (the others being Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome). Of all popes, Gregory I had the most influence on the early medieval church.
Pope Saint Gregory I or Gregory the Great (c. 540 – March 12, 604) was pope from September 3, 590 until his death.
Papal Rome in the time of Leo XII, by Silvestr Feodosievich Shchedrin.
The preserved body of John XXIII.