top of page

Pope Who Was A Mason

I live on the island of Boracay. However, I was brought up in a very catholic community in a small town called Kilrush, County Clare, on the West Coast of Ireland. Scattery Island is a living monument to the history of the West of Ireland which was my playground as a boy. I do not profess to be a historian or theologian. However, typical historical research methods are rarely used when interpreting and documenting the history of religion or masons. I have travelled the globe in search of the truth and I’m very lucky to have had such experiences.

Sometimes you get lucky and discover new truths that sometimes shock the world, like the following, the discovery of Pope Pius IX was a mason. Any mason looking at the papal coat of arms of Pope Pius IX will recognize immediately and question, what is one of the most sacred signs of masonry doing on the coat of arms of a pope? Obviously, Pope Pius IX was not hiding the fact that he was a mason because here on his coat of arms was the inner most secret of masonic emblems. The Emblem of the Lion’s Paw on the papal coat of arms of Pope Pius IX. It was this coat of arms that aroused my suspicions. I was shocked beyond belief, can this be true? Am I looking at a mason in the Vatican, and a Pope? Masons are excommunicated from the catholic church and I am staring at the emblems of masonry on a papal coat of arms, surely not. The Lion’s Paw is on the coat of arms of the grand Lodge of England and many other grand lodges around the world including the coat of arms of the Philippines.

And so, my research continued and discovered that this pope was indeed a mason, the rest of Pope Pius IX’s story is within this book.

To stand at the side of King John’s effigy in Worcester Cathedral, walk 15 paces and stand at the side of the resting place of Prince Arthur, both individuals who turned the history of England. To stand in awe of the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx. Reading ancient manuscripts in the British Museum, walk the aisle of Westminster Abbey and know that Kings and Queens over the centuries walked the same aisle. To me, history is a living item. An excellent example is the Magna Carta, a living document, and last year 2019 it was quoted over 4000 times in the courts in USA. This document laid the foundation for the freedom of humanity and what we enjoy today. I travelled down many roads in my research that led to so many dead ends and failures, it’s part of accepting the truth of research. One thing I did discover is that the history of England and the history of Masons cannot be separated, you cannot understand the history of masons without embellishing British history. May I conclude and state the enjoyment of it all at times was overwhelming, Canterbury Cathedral, to stand where Thomas Beckett was slain, York Minster, the Vatican and the history museum UK.

This book is based upon many years of travel and enquiry, and I’m happy to share my travels researching history. Available on Kindle or Amazon books in hardback


Joe Riley


Recent Posts

See All


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page