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Vatican City & the Holy See

Vatican City is an independent state located within the city of Rome. With an area of 44 hectares (110 acres) and a population of about 1,000 it is the smallest state in the world by both area and population. However, formally it is not sovereign, with sovereignty being held by the Holy See. Vatican City is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state, ruled by the pope who is, religiously speaking, the bishop of Rome and head of the Roman Catholic Church. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various national origins. Since the return of the popes from Avignon in 1377, they have generally resided at the Apostolic Palace.

The Holy See dates back to early Christianity and is the main episcopal see of 1.2 billion Latin and Eastern Catholic adherents around the globe. The independent Vatican City, on the other hand, came into existence in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and Italy, which spoke of it as a new creation, not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States (756–1870), which had previously encompassed much of central Italy. According to the terms of the treaty, the Holy See has "full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction" over the city-state.
It includes St Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. The Basilicas of St Mary Major, St John Lateran and St Paul outside the Walls, although not in the territory of Vatican City, are also owned by the Holy See.

Below are listed the Holy Fathers of the last century, with more information on their linked pages.

Pope Francis - Papa Bergoglio
Elected on 13 March 2013

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born on 17th December 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Made his vows as a Jesuit on 12 March 1960.
Ordained to priesthood on 13 December 1969.
Consecrated a bishop on 27 June 1992.
Motto: Miserando atque eligendo.
Created a cardinal by St John Paul II on 21 February 2001.

Benedict XVI - Papa Ratzinger
19 April 2005 - 28 February 2013

Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger born on Holy Saturday, 16 April 1927 in Marktl, Bavaria, Germany and baptised on the same day.
Ordained to the priesthood on Feast of Ss Peter & Paul, 29 June 1951.
Consecrated a bishop on 28 May 1977. Motto: Cooperatores veritatis.
Created a Cardinal by Paul VI on 27 June 1977.
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1981 - 2005.
Announced his resignation of the papacy during the Year of Faith, on Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, 11 February 2013.

Saint John Paul II - Papa Wojtyła
16 October 1978 - 2 April 2005

Karol Józef Wojtyła born on 18 May 1920 in Wadowice, Poland.
Ordained to the priesthood on Feast of All Saints, 1 November 1946.
Consecrated a bishop on 28 September 1958. Motto - Totus Tuus
Created a Cardinal by Paul VI on 26 June 1967.
Elected pope in the second Papal conclave of 1978, on the Feast of St Margaret-Mary Alacoque. Died on the vigil of Divine Mercy 2005.
Beatified by Benedict XVI on Feast of Divine Mercy, 1 May 2011.
Canonized with John XXIII by Pope Francis on Feast of Divine Mercy, 27 April 2014.
Feast day - 22nd October (date of his inauguration as Pope).

John Paul I - Papa Luciani
26 August 1978 - 28 September 1978

Albino Luciani born on 17 October 1912 in Canale d'Agordo, Veneto, Italy.
Ordained to the priesthood on 7 July 1935.
Consecrated a bishop by John XXIII on 27 December 1958. Motto - Humilitas.
Created a Cardinal by Paul VI on 5 March 1973.
Elected pope in the first Papal conclave of 1978, on the Feast of Our Lady of Częstochowa. He died of a heart attack 33 days later. His funeral was held on the Feast of St Francis of Assisi.
After confirming his heroic virtue, he was named 'Venerable' by Pope Francis on 8 November 2017.

Blessed Paul VI - Papa Montini
21 June 1963 - 6 August 1978

Giovanni Battista Montini born on 26 September 1897 in Concesio, Brescia, Italy.
Ordained to the priesthood on 29 May 1920.
Consecrated a bishop on 12 December 1954. Motto - Cum Ipso in monte.
Created a Cardinal by John XXIII on 15 December 1958.
Died on the Feast of the Transfiguration 1978.
Beatified by Pope Francis on 19 October 2014.
To be canonized on 14 October 2018. Feast day - 26th September (his birthday).

Saint John XXIII - Papa Roncalli
28 October 1958 - 3 June 1963

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli born on 25 November 1881 in Sotto il Monte, Bergamo, Italy.
Ordained to the priesthood on 10 August 1904.
Consecrated a bishop on
Feast of St Joseph, 19 March 1925.
Motto - Oboedientia et Pax.
Created a Cardinal by Pius XII on 12 January 1953.
Beatified by John Paul II on 3 October 2000.
Canonized with John Paul II by Pope Francis on Feast of Divine Mercy, 27 April 2014.
Feast day - 11th October (date of the opening of Vatican II).

Pius XII - Papa Pacelli
2 March 1939 - 9 October 1958

Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli born on 2 March 1876 in Rome, Italy.
Ordained to the priesthood on Easter Sunday, 2 April 1899.
During World War I, Pacelli maintained the Vatican's registry of prisoners of war and worked to implement papal relief initiatives.
Consecrated a bishop by Benedict XV on
13 May 1917, the date of Our Lady's first apparition in Fatima. Motto - Opus Justitiae Pax.
Created a Cardinal by Pius XI on 16 December 1929.
After confirming his heroic virtue, he was declared 'Venerable' (along with JPII) by Benedict XVI on 19 December 2009.

Pius XI - Papa Ratti
6 February 1922 - 10 February 1939

Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti born on 31 May 1857 in Desio, Lombaryd-Venetia, Austrian Empire.
Ordained to the priesthood on 20 December 1879.
Consecrated a bishop on
28 October 1919. Motto: Raptim Transit.
Created a Cardinal by Benedict XV on 13 June 1921.

Benedict XV - Papa della Chiesa
3 September 1914 - 22 January 1922

Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chiesa born on 21 November 1854 in Genoa, Pegli, Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia.
Ordained to the priesthood on 21 December 1878.
Consecrated a bishop on
22 December 1907. Motto: In Te Domine Speravi, Non Confundar In Aeternum.
Created a Cardinal by Pius X on 25 May 1914.
He died of pneumonia on 22 January 1922.

Saint Pius X - Papa Sarto
4 August 1903 - 20 August 1914

Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto born on 2 June 1835 in Riese, Treviso, Lombardy-Venetia, Austrian Empire.
Ordained to the priesthood on 18 September 1858.
Consecrated a bishop on
16 November 1884.
Motto - Instaurare Omnia in Christo.
Created a Cardinal by Leo XIII on 12 June 1893.
Beatified by Pius XII on 3 June 1951.
Canonized by Pius XII on 29 May 1954.
Feast day - 21st August.

Leo XIII - Papa Pecci
20 February 1878 - 20 July 1903

Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci born on 2 March 1810 in Carpineto Romano, Rome, French Empire.
Ordained to the priesthood on 31 December 1837.
Consecrated a bishop on
19 February 1843.
Motto - Instaurare Omnia in Christo.
Created a Cardinal by Pius IX on 19 December 1853.