On February 7th, 1878, Pope Pius IX died. His pontificate had lasted almost thirty two years, making him the longest-reigning pope in the history of the papacy.
Only three popes have reigned for twenty-five years or more; the other two are his immediate successor Leo XIII (r. 1878-1903) and John Paul II (r. 1978-2005).
The tomb of Pope Pius IX lies in the church of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura (St Lawrence Outside the Walls).
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
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