• 5 Centesimi 1929-1938, KM# 1, Vatican City, Pope Pius XI
  • 5 Centesimi 1929-1938, KM# 1, Vatican City, Pope Pius XI

Pope Pius XI, (Italian: Pio XI) born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti (1857–1939), was head of the Catholic Church from 6 February 1922 to his death in 1939. He was the first sovereign of Vatican City from its creation as an independent state on 11 February 1929. He took as his papal motto, "Pax Christi in Regno Christi," translated "The Peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ."

During his pontificate, the longstanding hostility with the Italian government over the status of the papacy and the Church in Italy was successfully resolved in the Lateran Treaty of 1929. He was unable to stop the persecution of the Church and the killing of clergy in Mexico, Spain and the Soviet Union. He canonized important saints, including Thomas More, Peter Canisius, Bernadette of Lourdes and Don Bosco. He beatified and canonized Thérèse de Lisieux, for whom he held special reverence, and gave equivalent canonization to Albertus Magnus, naming him a Doctor of the Church due to the spiritual power of his writings. The end of his pontificate was dominated by speaking out against Hitler and Mussolini and defending the Catholic Church from intrusions into Catholic life and education.

The coins with the year 1938 XVII have never been issued, for the death of the pontiff.

Engraver: Aurelio Mistruzzi


Crowned Pope Pius XI's coat of arms dividing date surrounded by the Latin inscription (Pope's name and year of the reign).

The coat of arms depicts a coat of arms of the Ratti Opizzone family, a crowned black eagle on a golden background on top; three red balls on a golden background on the bottom.

The papal tiara is a crown that was worn by popes of the Catholic Church from as early as the 8th century to the mid-20th. It was last used by Pope Paul VI in 1963 and only at the beginning of his reign. From 1143 to 1963, the papal tiara was solemnly placed on the pope's head during a papal coronation. The surviving papal tiaras are all in the triple form, the oldest being of 1572, and the others no earlier than 1800.

In ecclesiastical heraldry, papal coats of arms (those of individual popes) and those of the Holy See and Vatican City State include an image of crossed keys to represent the metaphorical keys of the office of Saint Peter, the keys of heaven, or the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, that, according to Roman Catholic teaching, Jesus promised to Saint Peter, empowering him to take binding actions. The keys of heaven or keys of Saint Peter are seen as a symbol of papal authority.

19 36


Olive branch divides value, surrounded by the state name. Engraver's name below (INC is the Italian abbreviation for the engraver).

C. 5


5 Centesimi

KM# 1 Schön# 1
Material Bronze
Weight 3.3 g
Diameter 19.6 mm
Thickness 1.56 mm
Shape round
Alignment Coin
Italian State Mint and Polygraphic Institute (R)

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