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GRAHAM PAIGE — Type 837 The Graham Paige 837 arrived at the Vatican on November 10, 1929, as a gift from the Graham brothers to Pius XI to mark the occasion of the Conciliation between the Church and the Italian State. Like the carriages, for reasons of protocol the rear passenger compartment is equipped with a seat that recalls the papal throne. This automobile, used by both Pius XI and Pius XII, is historically important. Pius XI used it to travel to the Basilica of St. John Lateran to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of his priestly ordination (December 22, 1929); it was the first time that a pope had left the Vatican after the fall of Rome on 20 September 1870. Years later (on July 19, 1943), was also witness to the tragic bombardment of San Lorenzo. As Bishop of Rome, Pius XII rushed to visit the afflicted Roman quarter to comfort his people in a Mercedes 230, but it broke down on the way. For the return journey, the pope used the Graham Paige 837, in front of which he was immortalized in a famous photograph, which shows him blessing the crowd.

© Musei Vaticani/Antoine Mekary for Aleteia