Edgardo Levi Mortara was born as an Italian Jew and became the center of an international controversy when he was removed from his parents by authorities of the Papal States and raised as a Catholic. He became a priest in the Augustinian order. Born and raised Jewish during the first six years of his life, Mortara was taken from his family by church authorities after they learned that he had been given emergency baptism by a domestic servant during a serious infantile illness. In the Papal States it was against the law for non-Catholics to raise Catholic children. Mortara was adopted by Pope Pius IX and entered the seminary in his teens.