Bl. Pius IX
Today is the memorial of Pope Blessed Pius IX, who reigned as the Vicar of Christ from 1846 to 1878. His was the second-longest pontificate, surpassed only by that of St. Peter (why don't people count him?) He was afflicted by the assaults of revolution and war, and had the Papal States wrested from him by men who, not content to make war upon the Pontiff's holy person, exacerbated this condition by a vehement hatred of God that cast a dark cloud over the unification of Italy.
Pius IX also presided over the First Vatican Council, most noted for the formalization of the doctrine of Papal Infallibility. Interestingly enough, only one bishop cast a vote in the Council against the adoption of this doctrine. That individual was Bishop Edward Fitzgerald of the diocese of Little Rock. Since that day, every bishop of Little Rock has died in office. None has been made Cardinal, nor promoted to a more prestigious see. This is unfortunate, because the current ordinary, Bishop Sartan, is a former Diocese of Memphis priest and a wonderful guy.
But it all goes to show you that you don't mess with the Pope.
File Under: The_Pope, Saints, Trivia