St. Peter's Square
St. Peter's Square is a large plaza located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, the papal enclave inside Rome, directly west of the neighbourhood or rione of Borgo. Both the square and the basilica are named after Saint Peter, an apostle of Jesus considered by some to be the first Pope. At the centre of the square is an ancient Egyptian obelisk, erected at the current site in 1586. Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed the square 100 years including the massive Doric colonnades, four columns deep, which embrace visitors in "the maternal arms of Mother Church". A granite fountain constructed by Bernini in 1675 matches another fountain designed by Carlo Maderno in 1613; the open space which lies before the basilica was redesigned by Gian Lorenzo Bernini from 1656 to 1667, under the direction of Pope Alexander VII, as an appropriate forecourt, designed "so that the greatest number of people could see the Pope give his blessing, either from the middle of the façade of the church or from a window in the Vatican Palace".
Bernini had been working on the interior of St. Peter's for decades. There were many constraints from existing structures; the massed accretions of the Vatican Palace crowded the space to the right of the basilica's façade. The obelisk marked a centre, a granite fountain by Maderno stood to one side: Bernini made the fountain appear to be one of the foci of the ovato tondo embraced by his colonnades and matched it on the other side, in 1675, just five years before his death; the trapezoidal shape of the piazza, which creates a heightened perspective for a visitor leaving the basilica and has been praised as a masterstroke of Baroque theater, is a product of site constraints. According to the Lateran Treaty the area of St. Peter's Square is subject to the authority of Italian police for crowd control though it is a part of the Vatican state; the colossal Doric colonnades, four columns deep, frame the trapezoidal entrance to the basilica and the massive elliptical area which precedes it. The ovato tondo's long axis, parallel to the basilica's façade, creates a pause in the sequence of forward movements, characteristic of a Baroque monumental approach.
The colonnades define the piazza. The elliptical center of the piazza, which contrasts with the trapezoidal entrance, encloses the visitor with "the maternal arms of Mother Church" in Bernini's expression. On the south side, the colonnades define and formalize the space, with the Barberini Gardens still rising to a skyline of umbrella pines. On the north side, the colonnade masks an assortment of Vatican structures. At the center of the ovato tondo stands an uninscribed Egyptian obelisk of red granite, 25.5 m tall, supported on bronze lions and surmounted by the Chigi arms in bronze, in all 41 m to the cross on its top. The obelisk was erected at Heliopolis, Egypt, by an unknown pharaoh; the Emperor Augustus had the obelisk moved to the Julian Forum of Alexandria, where it stood until AD 37, when Caligula ordered the forum demolished and the obelisk transferred to Rome. He had it placed on the spina which ran along the center of the Circus of Nero, where it would preside over Nero's countless brutal games and Christian executions.
It was moved to its current site in 1586 by the engineer-architect Domenico Fontana under the direction of Pope Sixtus V. The Vatican Obelisk is the only obelisk in Rome. During the Middle Ages, the gilt ball on top of the obelisk was believed to contain the ashes of Julius Caesar. Fontana removed the ancient metal ball, now in a Rome museum, that stood atop the obelisk and found only dust. Christopher Hibbert writes. Though Bernini had no influence in the erection of the obelisk, he did use it as the centerpiece of his magnificent piazza, added the Chigi arms to the top in honor of his patron, Alexander VII; the paving is varied by radiating lines in travertine, to relieve what might otherwise be a sea of cobblestones. In 1817 circular stones were set to mark the tip of the obelisk's shadow at noon as the sun entered each of the signs of the zodiac, making the obelisk a gigantic sundial's gnomon. Below is a view of St. Peter's Square from the cupola, taken in June 2007. St. Peter's Square today can be reached from the Ponte Sant'Angelo along the grand approach of the Via della Conciliazione.
The spina which once occupied this grand avenue leading to the square was demolished ceremonially by Benito Mussolini himself on October 23, 1936 and was demolished by October 8, 1937. St. Peter's Basilica was now visible from the Castel Sant'Angelo. After the spina all the buildings south of the passetto were demolished between 1937 and 1950, obliterating one of the most important medieval and renaissance quarters of the city. Moreover, the demolition of the spina canceled the characteristic Baroque surprise, nowadays maintained only for visitors coming from Borgo Santo Spirito; the Via della Conciliazione was completed in
Outline of Vatican City
The following outline is provided as an overview of and introduction to Vatican City: Vatican City – an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state, being the sovereign territory of the Holy See and ruled by the Bishop of Rome—the Pope, the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. The territory of this landlocked sovereign city-state consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy, it has an area of 44 hectares, a population of just over 800. This makes Vatican City the smallest independent state in the world by both population. Pronunciation: Common English country name: Vatican City Official English country name: Vatican City State Common endonym: Vatican City State Official endonym: Stato della Città del Vaticano, Adjectival: Vatican Demonym: Citizen of Vatican City Etymology: See Vatican Hill ISO country codes: VA, VAT, 336 ISO region codes: none Internet country code top-level domain:.va Geography of Vatican City Vatican City is: A walled enclave within the city of Rome A sovereign city-state A European microstate Land boundaries: Italy 3.2 km Coastline: none Population: 824 - 220th Size: 0.44 square kilometres - 234th largest country Atlas of Vatican City Vatican City is situated within the following regions: Eastern Hemisphere Northern Hemisphere Eurasia Europe Southern Europe Italian Peninsula Surrounded by Italy Surrounded by Lazio Surrounded by Rome Time zone: Central European Time, Central European Summer Time Extreme points of Vatican City High: unnamed location 75 m Low: Saint Peter's Square 33 m Climate of Vatican City Ecoregions in Vatican City: none Protected areas of Vatican City: none Vatican City is an enclave in an urban area, lacks the geographic features common to countries: Lakes: none Mountains: none Rivers: none Valleys: none World Heritage Sites in Vatican City: Vatican City is itself a World Heritage Site None Vatican City is inside Rome, which in turn lies within the Lazio region of Italy Vatican City lies next to the Borgo district in Rome.
None Vatican City has no administrative divisions. Demographics of Vatican City Politics of Vatican City Form of government: Ecclesiastical. Capital: Vatican City Association of Vatican Lay Workers Elections in Vatican City Political parties in Vatican City: none. Vatican City is in the jurisdiction of the Holy See. Political scandals of Vatican City Banco Ambrosiano Gone with the Wind in the Vatican Roman Question Vatican Secret Archives Government of Vatican City Head of state: Pope Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis Head of government: President of the Governatorate of Vatican City, Giuseppe Bertello Governatorate of Vatican City Absolute legislative authority: Pope Pope Francis Secretariat of State Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State: Giovanni Lajolo Laws passed by the Commission must be approved by the pope through the Secretariat of State prior to being published and taking effect. Absolute judicial authority: Pope Pope Francis Supreme Court of Vatican City The Cardinal Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura serves ex officio as the President of the Supreme Court of Vatican City.
The two other members of the Supreme Court are Cardinals of the Apostolic Signatura and are chosen by the Cardinal Prefect on a yearly basis. Appellate Court of Vatican City Tribunal of Vatican City State Under the terms of article 22 the Lateran Treaty, Italy will, at the request of the Holy See, punish individuals for crimes committed within Vatican City and will itself proceed against the person who committed the offence, if that person takes refuge in Italian territory. Persons accused of crimes recognized as such both in Italy and in Vatican City that are committed in Italian territory will be handed over to the Italian authorities if they take refuge in Vatican City or in buildings that under the treaty enjoy immunity. Foreign relations of Vatican City – Vatican City State is a recognised national territory under international law, but it is the Holy See that conducts diplomatic relations on its behalf, in addition to the Holy See's own diplomacy, entering into international agreements in its regard.
See Foreign relations of the Holy See Diplomatic missions in Vatican City: none. Because Vatican City is too small, diplomatic missions accredited to the Holy See are situated in Rome, not in Vatican City. Diplomatic missions to the Holy See Diplomatic missions of Vatican City: none.. The Holy See, which Vatican City is the sovereign territory of, maintains diplomatic relations with 176 countries. Diplomatic missions of the Holy See International organization membership of Vatican City Vatican City State is a member of: Law of Vatican City State Constitution: Fundamental Law of Vatican City State Capital punishment in Vatican City: abolished in 1969 Crime in Vatican City Human rights in Vatican City LGBT rights in Vatican City Lateran Treaty Law enforcement in Vatican City Vatican City State has no military, but resident within it is the Swiss Guard. Military in Vatican City Command Commander-in-chief: Christoph Graf Forces — Vatican City lies within Rome, the capital of Italy, therefore defense is the responsibility of Italy.
Army of Vatican City: none, see Military in Vatican City.
Old St. Peter's Basilica
Old St. Peter's Basilica was the building that stood, from the 4th to 16th centuries, where the new St. Peter's Basilica stands today in Vatican City. Construction of the basilica, built over the historical site of the Circus of Nero, began during the reign of Emperor Constantine I; the name "old St. Peter's Basilica" has been used since the construction of the current basilica to distinguish the two buildings. Construction began by orders of the Roman Emperor Constantine I between 318 and 322, took about 40 years to complete. Over the next twelve centuries, the church gained importance becoming a major place of pilgrimage in Rome. Papal coronations were held at the basilica, in 800, Charlemagne was crowned emperor of the Holy Roman Empire there. In 846, Saracens damaged the basilica; the raiders seem to have known about Rome's extraordinary treasures. Some holy – and impressive – basilicas, such as St. Peter's Basilica, were outside the Aurelian walls, thus easy targets, they were "filled to overflowing with rich liturgical vessels and with jeweled reliquaries housing all of the relics amassed".
As a result, the raiders pillaged the holy shrine. In response Pope Leo IV built the Leonine wall and rebuilt the parts of St. Peter's, damaged. In 1099, Urban II convened a council including St Anselm. Among other topics, it repeated the bans on lay investiture and on clergy's paying homage to secular lords. By the 15th century the church was falling into ruin. Discussions on repairing parts of the structure commenced upon the pope's return from Avignon. Two people involved in this reconstruction were Leon Battista Alberti and Bernardo Rossellino, who improved the apse and added a multi-story benediction loggia to the atrium facade, on which construction continued intermittently until the new basilica was begun. Alberti pronounced the basilica a structural abomination: I have noticed in the basilica of St. Peter's in Rome a crass feature: an long and high wall has been constructed over a continuous series of openings, with no curves to give it strength, no buttresses to lend it support... The whole stretch of wall has been pierced by too many openings and built too high...
As a result, the continual force of the wind has displaced the wall more than six feet from the vertical. At first Pope Julius II had every intention of preserving the old building, but his attention soon turned toward tearing it down and building a new structure. Many people of the time were shocked by the proposal, as the building represented papal continuity going back to Peter; the original altar was to be preserved in the new structure. The design was a typical basilica form with the plan and elevation resembling those of Roman basilicas and audience halls, such as the Basilica Ulpia in Trajan's Forum and Constantine's own Aula Palatina at Trier, rather than the design of any Greco-Roman temple. Constantine went to great pains to build the basilica on the site of Saint Peter's grave, this fact influenced the layout of the building; the Vatican Hill, on the west bank of the Tiber River, was leveled. Notably, since the site was outside the boundaries of the ancient city, the apse with the altar was located in the west so that the basilica's façade could be approached from Rome itself to the east.
The exterior however, unlike earlier pagan temples, was not lavishly decorated. The church was capable of housing from 3,000 to 4,000 worshipers at one time, it consisted of five aisles, a wide central nave and two smaller aisles to each side, which were each divided by 21 marble columns, taken from earlier pagan buildings. It was over 350 feet long, built in the shape of a Latin cross, had a gabled roof, timbered on the interior and which stood at over 100 feet at the center. An atrium, known as the "Garden of Paradise", stood at the entrance and had five doors which led to the body of the church; the altar of Old St. Peter's Basilica used several Solomonic columns. According to tradition, Constantine took these columns from the Temple of Solomon and gave them to the church; when Gian Lorenzo Bernini built his baldacchino to cover the new St. Peter's altar, he drew from the twisted design of the old columns. Eight of the original columns were moved to the piers of the new St. Peter's; the great Navicella mosaic in the atrium is attributed to Giotto di Bondone.
The giant mosaic, commissioned by Cardinal Jacopo Stefaneschi, occupied the whole wall above the entrance arcade facing the courtyard. It depicted St. Peter walking on the waters; this extraordinary work was destroyed during the construction of the new St. Peter's in the 16th century, but fragments were preserved. Navicella means "little ship" referring to the large boat which dominated the scene, whose sail, filled by the storm, loomed over the horizon; such a natural representation of a seascape was known only from ancient works of art. The nave ended with an arch, which held a mosaic of Constantine and Saint Peter, who presented a model of the church to Christ. On the walls, each having 11 windows, were frescoes of various people and scenes from both the Old and New Testament; the fragment of an eighth-century mosaic, the Epiphany, is one of the rare remaining bits of the medieval decoration of Old St. Peter's Basilica; the precious fragment is kept in the sacristy of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
It proves the high artistic quality of the destroyed mosaics. Another one, a standing madonna, is on a side altar in the Basilica of San Marco in Florence. Since the crucifixion and burial of Saint Peter in
Victor Emmanuel II of Italy
Victor Emmanuel II was King of Sardinia from 1849 until 17 March 1861. At that point, he assumed the title of King of Italy and became the first king of a united Italy since the 6th century, a title he held until his death in 1878; the Italians gave him the epithet of Father of the Fatherland. The monument Altare della Patria in Rome was built in his honor. Victor Emmanuel was born as the eldest son of Charles Albert, Prince of Carignano, Maria Theresa of Austria, his father succeeded a distant cousin as King of Sardinia-Piedmont in 1831. He lived for some years of his youth in Florence and showed an early interest in politics, the military, sports. In 1842, he married Adelaide of Austria, he was styled as the Duke of Savoy prior to becoming King of Sardinia-Piedmont. He took part in the First Italian War of Independence under his father, King Charles Albert, fighting in the front line at the battles of Pastrengo, Santa Lucia and Custoza, he became King of Sardinia-Piedmont in 1849 when his father abdicated the throne, after a humiliating military defeat by the Austrians at the Battle of Novara.
Victor Emmanuel was able to obtain a rather favorable armistice at Vignale by the Austrian imperial army commander, Radetzky. The treaty, was not ratified by the Piedmontese lower parliamentary house, the Chamber of Deputies, Victor Emmanuel retaliated by firing his Prime Minister, Claudio Gabriele de Launay, replacing him with Massimo D'Azeglio. After new elections, the peace with Austria was accepted by the new Chamber of Deputies. In 1849, Victor Emmanuel fiercely suppressed a revolt in Genoa, defining the rebels as a "vile and infected race of canailles." In 1852, he appointed Count Camillo Benso of Cavour as Prime Minister of Piedmont-Sardinia. This turned out to be a wise choice, since Cavour was a political mastermind and a major player in the Italian unification in his own right. Victor Emmanuel II soon became the symbol of the "Risorgimento", the Italian unification movement of the 1850s and early 60s, he was popular in the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont because of his respect for the new constitution and his liberal reforms.
Following Victor Emmanuel's advice, Cavour joined Britain and France in the Crimean War against Russia. Cavour was reluctant to go to war due to the power of Russia at the time and the expense of doing so. Victor Emmanuel, was convinced of the rewards to be gained from the alliance created with Britain and, more France. After seeking British support and ingratiating himself with France and Napoleon III at the Congress of Paris in 1856 at the end of the war, Count Cavour arranged a secret meeting with the French emperor. In 1858, they met at Plombières-les-Bains, where they agreed that if the French were to help Piedmont combat Austria, which still occupied the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia in northern Italy, France would be awarded Nice and Savoy; the Italo-French campaign against Austria in 1859 started successfully. However, sickened by the casualties of the war and worried about the mobilisation of Prussian troops, Napoleon III secretly made a treaty with Franz Joseph of Austria at Villafranca whereby Piedmont would only gain Lombardy.
France did not as a result receive the promised Nice and Savoy, but Austria did keep Venetia, a major setback for the Piedmontese, in no small part because the treaty had been prepared without their knowledge. After several quarrels about the outcome of the war, Cavour resigned, the king had to find other advisors. France indeed only gained Nice and Savoy after the Treaty of Turin was signed in March 1860, after Cavour had been reinstalled as Prime Minister, a deal with the French was struck for plebiscites to take place in the Central Italian Duchies; that same year, Victor Emmanuel II sent his forces to fight the papal army at Castelfidardo and drove the Pope into Vatican City. His success at these goals led him to be excommunicated from the Catholic Church. Giuseppe Garibaldi conquered Sicily and Naples, Sardinia-Piedmont grew larger. On 17 March 1861 the Kingdom of Italy was established and Victor Emmanuel II became its king. Victor Emmanuel supported Giuseppe Garibaldi's Expedition of the Thousand, which resulted in the rapid fall of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in southern Italy.
However, the king halted Garibaldi when he appeared ready to attack Rome, still under the Papal States, as it was under French protection. In 1860, through local plebiscites, Modena and Romagna decided to side with Sardinia-Piedmont. Victor Emmanuel marched victoriously in the Marche and Umbria after the victorious battle of Castelfidardo over the Papal forces; the king subsequently met with Garibaldi at Teano. Another series of plebiscites in the occupied lands resulted in the proclamation of Victor Emmanuel as the first King of Italy by the new Parliament of unified Italy, on 17 March 1861, he did not renumber himself after assuming the new royal title, however. Turin became the capital of the new state. Only Rome and Trentino remained to be conquered. In 1866 Victor Emmanuel allied himself with Prussia in the Third Italian War of Independence. Although not victorious in the Italian theater, he managed anyway to receive Veneto after the Austrian defeat in Germany; the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Clarendon, visited Florence in December 1867 and reported to London after talking to various Italian politicians: "There is universal agreement that Victor Emmanuel is an imbecile.
Pope Pius IX
Pope Pius IX, born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, was head of the Catholic Church from 16 June 1846 to his death on 7 February 1878. He was the longest-reigning elected pope in the history of the Catholic Church, serving for over 31 years. During his pontificate, Pius IX convened the First Vatican Council, which decreed papal infallibility, but the council was cut short owing to the loss of the Papal States. Europe, including the Italian peninsula, was in the midst of considerable political ferment when the bishop of Imola, Giovanni Maria Cardinal Mastai-Ferretti, was elected pope, he took the name Pius, after his generous patron and the long-suffering prisoner of Napoleon, Pius VII. He had been elected by the faction of cardinals sympathetic to the political liberalization coursing across Europe, his initial governance of the Papal States gives evidence of his own moderate sympathies. A series of terrorist acts sponsored by Italian liberals and nationalists, which included the assassination of his Minister of the Interior, Pellegrino Rossi, which forced Pius himself to flee Rome in 1848, along with widespread revolutions in Europe, led to his growing skepticism towards the liberal, nationalist agenda.
Through the 1850s and 1860s, Italian nationalists made military gains against the Papal States, which culminated in the seizure of the city of Rome in 1870 and the dissolution of the Papal States. Thereafter, Pius IX refused to accept the Law of Guarantees from the Italian government, which would have made the Holy See dependent on legislation that the Italian parliament could modify at any time. Pius refused to leave Vatican City, declaring himself a "prisoner of the Vatican", his ecclesiastical policies towards other countries, such as Russia, Germany or France, were not always successful, owing in part to changing secular institutions and internal developments within these countries. However, concordats were concluded with numerous states such as Austria-Hungary, Spain, Tuscany, Venezuela, Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti. Pius was a Marian pope. In 1854, he promulgated the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, articulating a long-held Catholic belief that Mary, the Mother of God, was conceived without original sin.
He conferred the title Our Mother of Perpetual Help on a famous Byzantine icon from Crete entrusted to the Redemptorists. In 1862, he convened 300 bishops to the Vatican for the canonization of Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan, his 1864 Syllabus of Errors stands as a strong condemnation against liberalism, moral relativism and separation of church and state. Pius definitively reaffirmed Catholic teaching in favor of the establishment of the Catholic faith as the state religion in nations where the majority of the population is Catholic. However, his most important legacy is the First Vatican Council, convened in 1869, which defined the dogma of papal infallibility, but was interrupted as Italian nationalist troops threatened Rome; the council is considered to have contributed to a centralization of the church in the Vatican, while clearly defining the Pope's doctrinal authority. Many recent ecclesiastical historians and journalists question his approaches, his appeal for public worldwide support of the Holy See after he became "the prisoner of the Vatican" resulted in the revival and spread to the whole Catholic Church of Peter's Pence, used today to enable the Pope "to respond to those who are suffering as a result of war, natural disaster, disease".
After his death in 1878, his canonization process was opened on 11 February 1907 by Pope Pius X, it drew considerable controversy over the years. It was closed on several occasions during the pontificates of Pope Benedict XV and Pope Pius XI. Pope Pius XII re-opened the cause on 7 December 1954, Pope John Paul II proclaimed him Venerable on 6 July 1985, he was beatified on 3 September 2000 after the recognition of a miracle. Pius IX was assigned the liturgical feast day of the date of his death. Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti was born on 13 May 1792 in Senigallia, he was the ninth child born into the noble family of Girolamo dei conti Ferretti, was baptized on the same day of his birth with the name of Giovanni Maria Giambattista Pietro Pellegrino Isidoro. He was educated in Rome; as a young man in the Guardia Nobile the young Count Mastai was engaged to be married to an Irishwoman, Miss Foster, arrangements were made for the wedding to take place in the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi. Mastai's parents opposed the marriage and, in the event, he did not appear at the church on the appointed day.
As a theology student in his hometown Sinigaglia, in 1814 he met Pope Pius VII, who had returned from French captivity. In 1815, he was soon dismissed after an epileptic seizure, he threw himself at the feet of Pius VII, who elevated him and supported his continued theological studies. The pope insisted that another priest should assist Mastai during Holy Mass, a stipulation, rescinded, after the seizure attacks became less frequent. Mastai was ordained a priest on 10 April 1819, he worked as the rector of the Tata Giovanni Institute in Rome. Shortly before his death, Pius VII sent him as Auditor to Chile and Peru in 1823 and 1825 to assist the Apostolic Nuncio, Monsignore Giovanni Muzi and Monsignore Bradley Kane, in the first mission to post-revolutionary South America; the mission had the o
The Holy See called the See of Rome, is the apostolic episcopal see of the bishop of Rome, known as the Pope, ex cathedra the universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church, a sovereign entity of international law. Founded in the 1st century by Saints Peter and Paul, by virtue of Petrine and Papal primacy according to Catholic tradition, it is the focal point of full communion for Catholic bishops and Catholics around the world organised in polities of the Latin Church, the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, their dioceses and religious institutes; as a recognised sovereign subject of international law, headed by the Pope, the Holy See is headquartered in, operates from, exercises "exclusive dominion" over the independent Vatican City State enclave in Rome, Italy. The Holy See maintains bilateral diplomatic relations with 172 sovereign states, signs concordats and treaties, performs multilateral diplomacy with multiple intergovernmental organizations, including the United Nations and its agencies, the Council of Europe, the European Communities, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe the Organization of American States and the Organization for African Unity.
The Holy See is administered by the Roman Curia, similar to a centralised government, with the Cardinal Secretary of State as its chief administrator, in addition to various dicasteries, comparable to ministries and executive departments. Papal elections are carried out by the College of Cardinals. Although the Holy See is sometimes metonymically referred to as the "Vatican", the Vatican City State was distinctively established with the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and Italy to ensure the temporal and spiritual independence of the Papacy; as such, ambassadors are accredited to the Holy See and not the Vatican City State. Conversely, Papal nuncios to states and international organisations are recognised as representing the Holy See and the integrity of the Catholic Church along with its 1.3 billion members, not the Vatican City State, as prescribed in the Canon law of the Catholic Church. The "Holy See" thus refers to the See of Rome viewed as the central government of the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church, in turn, is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world, while the diplomatic status of the Holy See facilitates the access of its vast international network of charities. The word "see" comes from the Latin word "sedes", meaning "seat", which refers to the Episcopal throne; the term "Apostolic See" can refer to any see founded by one of the Apostles, when used with the definite article, it is used in the Catholic Church to refer to the see of the Bishop of Rome, whom that Church sees as successor of Saint Peter, the Prince of the Apostles. While Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City is the church most associated with the Papacy, the actual cathedral of the Holy See is the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran within the city of Rome; every see. In Greek, the adjective "holy" or "sacred" is applied to all such sees as a matter of course. In the West, the adjective is not added, but it does form part of an official title of two sees: besides the Diocese of Rome, the Bishopric of Mainz bears the title of "the Holy See of Mainz".
The apostolic see of Rome was established in the 1st century by Saint Peter and Saint Paul the capital of the Roman Empire, according to Catholic tradition. The legal status of the Catholic Church and its property was recognised by the Edict of Milan in 313 by Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, it became the state church of the Roman Empire by the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. After the Fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476, the temporal legal jurisdisction of the Papal primacy was further recognised as promulgated in Canon law; the Holy See was granted territory in Duchy of Rome by the Donation of Sutri in 728 of King Liutprand of the Lombards, sovereignty by the Donation of Pepin in 756 by King Pepin of the Franks. The Papal States held extensive territory and armed forces in 756–1870. Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as Roman Emperor by translatio imperii in 800; the Papal coronations of the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire from 858 and the Dictatus papae in 1075 mark the peak of the pope's temporal power claims.
Several contemporary states still trace their own sovereignty to recognition in medieval Papal bulls. Sovereignty of the Holy See was retained despite multiple sacks of Rome during the Early Middle Ages. Yet, relations with the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy Roman Empire were at times strained, reaching from the Diploma Ottonianum and Libellus de imperatoria potestate in urbe Roma regarding the "Patrimony of Saint Peter" in the 10th century, to the Investiture Controversy in 1076-1122, settled again by the Concordat of Worms in 1122; the exiled Avignon Papacy during 1309-1376 put a strain on the Papacy, however returned to Rome. Pope Innocent X was critical of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 as it weakened the authority of the Holy See throughout much of Europe. Following the French Revolution, the Papal States were occupied as the "Roman Republic" from 1798 to 1799 as a sister republic of the First French Empire under Napoleon, before their territory was reestablished. Notwithstanding, the Holy See was represented in and identified as a "permanent subject of general customary international law vis-à-vis all states" in the Congress of Vien
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII was head of the Catholic Church from 20 February 1878 to his death. He was the oldest pope, had the third-longest confirmed pontificate, behind that of Pius IX and John Paul II, he is well known for his intellectualism and his attempts to define the position of the Catholic Church with regard to modern thinking. In his famous 1891 encyclical Rerum novarum, Pope Leo outlined the rights of workers to a fair wage, safe working conditions, the formation of labor unions, while affirming the rights of property and free enterprise, opposing both Marxism and laissez-faire capitalism, he promoted both the rosary and the scapular. Leo XIII issued a record of eleven Papal encyclicals on the rosary earning him the title as the "Rosary Pope". In addition, he approved two new Marian scapulars and was the first pope to embrace the concept of Mary as Mediatrix, he was the first pope to never have held any control over the Papal States, after they had been dissolved by 1870. He was buried in the grottos of Saint Peter's Basilica before his remains were transferred to the Basilica of Saint John Lateran.
Born in Carpineto Romano, near Rome, he was the sixth of the seven sons of Count Ludovico Pecci and his wife Anna Prosperi Buzzi. His brothers included Giovanni Battista Pecci; until 1818 he lived at home with his family, "in which religion counted as the highest grace on earth, as through her, salvation can be earned for all eternity". Together with his brother Giuseppe, he studied in the Jesuit College in Viterbo, where he stayed until 1824, he was known to write his own Latin poems at the age of eleven. In 1824 he and his older brother Giuseppe were called to Rome. Count Pecci wanted his children near him after the loss of his wife, so they stayed with him in Rome, attending the Jesuit Collegium Romanum. In 1828, 18-year-old Vincenzo decided in favour of secular clergy, while his brother Giuseppe entered the Jesuit order, he studied at the Academia dei Nobili diplomacy and law. In 1834, he gave a student presentation, attended by several cardinals, on papal judgements. For his presentation he received awards for academic excellence, gained the attention of Vatican officials.
Cardinal Secretary of State Luigi Lambruschini introduced him to Vatican congregations. During a cholera epidemic in Rome he assisted Cardinal Sala in his duties as overseer of all the city hospitals. In 1836 he received his doctorate in theology and doctorates of Canon Law in Rome. On 14 February 1837, Pope Gregory XVI appointed the 27 year old Pecci as personal prelate before he was ordained priest on 31 December 1837, by the Vicar of Rome, Cardinal Carlo Odescalchi, he celebrated his first mass together with his priest brother Giuseppe. Shortly thereafter, Gregory XVI appointed Pecci as legate to Benevento, the smallest of papal provinces, including about 20,000 people; the main problems facing Pecci were a decaying local economy, insecurity because of widespread bandits, pervasive Mafia or Camorra structures, which were allied with aristocratic families. Pecci arrested the most powerful aristocrat in Benevento, his troops captured others, who were either killed or imprisoned by him. With the public order restored, he turned to the economy and a reform of the tax system to stimulate trade with neighboring provinces.
Pecci was first destined for Spoleto, a province of 100,000. On 17 July 1841, he was sent to Perugia with 200,000 inhabitants, his immediate concern was to prepare the province for a papal visitation in the same year. Pope Gregory XVI visited hospitals and educational institutions for several days, asking for advice and listing questions; the fight against corruption continued in Perugia. When it was claimed that a bakery was selling bread below the prescribed pound weight, he went there, had all bread weighed, confiscated it if below legal weight; the confiscated bread was distributed to the poor. In 1843, only thirty-three years old, was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Belgium, a position which guaranteed the Cardinal's hat after completion of the tour. On 27 April 1843, Pope Gregory XVI appointed Pecci Archbishop and asked his Cardinal Secretary of State Lambruschini to consecrate him. Pecci developed excellent relations with the royal family and used the location to visit neighbouring Germany, where he was interested in the resumed construction of the Cologne Cathedral.
In 1844, upon his initiative, a Belgian College in Rome was opened, where 102 years in 1946, the future Pope John Paul II would begin his Roman studies. He spent several weeks in England with Bishop Nicholas Wiseman reviewing the condition of the Catholic Church in that country. In Belgium, the school question was debated between the Catholic majority and the Liberal minority. Pecci encouraged the struggle for Catholic schools, yet he was able to win the good will of the Court, not only of the pious Queen Louise, but of King Leopold I Liberal in his views; the new nuncio succeeded in uniting the Catholics. At the end of his mission, the King granted him the Grand Cordon in the Order of Leopold. In 1843, Pecci had been named papal assistant. From 1846 to 1877 he was considered a successful Archbishop-Bishop of Perugia. In 1847, after Pope Pius IX granted unlimited freedom for the press in the Papal States, popular in the first years of his episcopate, beca