Baby name story: Pio

The head of the Catholic church, the Pope, is both the Bishop of Rome and the sovereign of the state of Vatican City.

But one thing I didn’t realize until recently is that, while Rome has been around for centuries, Vatican City isn’t even 100 years old.

Vatican City, an enclave within Rome, has been an independent state only since mid-1929. It was established via treaty between the Holy See and Fascist Italy (under Mussolini).

How did I come to find this out? Via baby name, as usual. Here’s the full text of a tiny item I found in a 1929 newspaper:

The first baby born in the new papal state is named Pio (pius). He is the son of a papal servant.

Too bad there were no other details. Leaves me wondering if the name Pio was a tribute to the location, or to the pope at that time (Pius XI), or to something else…

Source: “First Vatican City Baby Is Named Pius.” San Jose News 19 Jun. 1929: 8.

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