1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Pius XI.

PIUS XI. [Achille Ratti], elected Pope on Feb. 6 1922 at the Conclave following the death of Benedict XV., was born May 30 1857, at Desio, near Milan. He came of a middle-class Italian family, his father, Francesco Ratti, being manager of a textile factory. Achille was the third of six children, and was educated for the priesthood at the seminary of Milan and the Lombard College in Rome, becoming deacon in 1877 and priest in 1879. Devoting himself to study, he took doctorates in philosophy, theology and canon law in Rome, and in 1882 became a teacher in the major seminary at Milan. In 1888 he was chosen one of the college of doctors of the Ambrosiana Library in Milan, where he worked assiduously, becoming librarian in 1907, and attaining so high a reputation as a scholar that in 1910 he was also appointed by Pius X. vice-prefect of the Vatican Library. He was prefect of the Vatican Library from 1913 to 1918, and in this capacity was made a monsignor. During the war years his exceptional gifts as a diplomatist impressed themselves on Benedict XV., who, in the spring of 1918, sent him as Papal Nuncio to Poland, where his success led to still further distinctions. In June 1919 he was created Archbishop of Lepanto, in April 1921 Archbishop of Milan, and in June 1921 cardinal.