Blessed Pius IX, exiled in Gaeta by the liberal Italian Revolution, made the decision to define the dogma of the Blessed Virgin’s Immaculate Conception. According to a CNA report, here’s “the rest of the story”:
According to tradition, Pope Pius IX spent a long period in prayer in Gaeta before a painting of the Immaculate Conception by Scipione Pulzone preserved in the so-called Chapel of Gold, and that moment of encounter with God convinced him to proclaim the dogma.
However, French historian and professor Louis Baunard said that while gazing upon the Mediterranean from the city, “the Pope mediated on remarks made to him by Cardinal Luigi Lambruschini: Holy Father, you will not be able to heal the world unless you proclaim the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Only this dogmatic definition will reestablish the meaning of the Christian truths and bring minds back from the paths of naturalism upon which they have become lost.”
According to Guglietta, naturalism, which rejected all supernatural truth, could be considered the “backdrop” for the Pope’s proclamation of the dogma. “The affirmation of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin laid a strong foundation for affirming and strengthening the certainty of the primacy of grace and the work of Providence in the lives of men.”
Grace, providence, Our Lady… supernatural curatives for naturalism and liberalism. Makes sense.