Pope Pius XII silver medal, 5/8 inches in diameter. The front is a profile of the pope while the reverse has Sts. Peter and Paul.
Pius XII's papacy began March 2nd,1939, and continued till his death, October 9th, 1958. Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli was born on March 2, 1876 in Rome into a deeply religious, aristocratic family with a history of ties to the papacy (the "Black Nobility"). His grandfather, Marcantonio Pacelli, was Under-Secretary in the Papal Ministry of Finances and then Secretary of the Interior under Pope Pius IX from 1851 to 1870 and founded the Vatican's newspaper, "L'Osservatore Romano" in 1861. His cousin, Ernesto Pacelli, was a key financial advisor to Pope Leo XIII; his father, Filippo Pacelli, a Franciscan Tertiary, was the dean of the Sacra Rota Romana; and his brother, Francesco Pacelli, became a lay canon lawyer and the legal advisor to Pius XI, in which role he negotiated the Lateran Treaty in 1929, bringing an end to the Roman Question.