Friday, 24 October 2008

Our Patron: Blessed Pius IX

On our journey north one of our items of discussion was "who should our patron be?" Naturally we turned first of all to St Christopher, patron of travellers. Then we thought of great railway saints such as St Rollox, St Pancras or St Enoch. These would all be worthy patrons but as we had all studied in the Scots College Rome our minds finally turned to Blessed Pius IX (above, in his Papal Train). It was he who allowed the building of the first railway in the Papal States. His predecessor, Pope Gregory XVI, had reportedly defined railways as "roads of Hell" but Bl Pius IX saw the benefits of the railway and in 1856 the line from Rome to Frascati opened with the train and track being first blessed by a bishop.  

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