July 18, 1870

On This Day in HISTORY in 1870 – The First Vatican Council decreed the dogma of papal infallibility. Immediately afterwards Pope Pius IX walked into one of the free-standing marble pillars in the Vatican while walking and talking with Don Joao Carlos de Saldanha Oliveria e Daun, the Prime Minster of Portugal and promptly broke his nose. Don Joao Carlos de Saldanha Oliveria e Daun, also known as ‘Stinky-feet’ Oliveria, laughed at the Pope and sneered, “How’s that infallibility working now, Mr. Pope!” Pope Pius ordered his Swiss Guard to bind ‘Stinky-feet’ Oliveria and ship him back to Portugal in a beer-barrel. Fortunately for ‘Stinky-feet’, there weren’t any beer-barrels available so a much larger wine barrel was used. A new Prime Minister, Bernardo de Sá Nogueira de Figueiredo, 1st Marquis of Sá da Bandeira , was sent back to Rome, but he only lasted a day. At the evening meal, he heard someone pass some stinky gas and asked Pope Pius if it was him. When the Pope said that he had papal infallibility, Bernardo replied that his grandmother used to have that, but a diet of green vegetables and less cheese cleared that right up. His replacement was a humorless mute named, António José de Ávila, 1st Duke of Ávila and Bolama. The Pope was pleased with his ability to keep his mouth shut.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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