"In 1881 a mob attempted to throw the coffin holding the body of Pius IX into the Tiber. Pius IX had died in 1878 and had requested in his will that he be buried in the Basilica of San Lorenzo, about two miles from the Vatican. He was first laid to rest in one of the niches in St. Peter's Basilica, because the tense atmosphere existing between the Holy See and Italy did not permit the transfer of the body before 1881. A that time it was decided to move the Pope's remains to San Lorenzo under a fitting and proper escort. As the funeral procession arrived at the bridge over the Tiber facing Caste Sant' Angelo, it was attacked by a small group of anti-Catholic desperadoes, who had planned to seize the coffin and throw it into the river. In the ensuing battle eight persons were killed. The coffin was rescuted, but it had to be rushed to the Church of San Lorenzo without further ceremony."