During the period of their incarceration a new Pope was to be elected. Pius VI was determined to free them in spite of Bourbon howls of outrage. However it was too late for Ricci – who was to receive Communion a few days before his death. In a solemn ceremony he read a statement in front of the Blessed Sacrament that the Society had been given no reason for its suppression and they had not been given any reasons for their harsh imprisonment.
Curiously when the rest of his assistants where released just over a month after his death (238 years ago today) , the German assistant the eighty-two-year-old Rhomberg declared that he would rather remain there. It seems that almost as a complete cripple, he could hardly be moved out of the castle. At least there he had two fellow-prisoners who took compassion on him and carried him every morning to the chapel, where he could hear Mass and receive Holy Communion.