In 1780, Emperor Joseph II became the sole ruler of the Habsburg monarchy, and with his rule, the Enlightenment finally seemed to arrive. But this was not seen as promising by everyone, and for some it posed a threat. Joseph's mother, Maria Theresa, had already begun a comprehensive policy of reform that extended to the church and religious life in general. Joseph II increased the pace of reform with spectacular measures designed around the ideals of the Enlightenment: the abolition of serfdom and the death penalty, as well as granting religious tolerance and the end of censorship. The measures also included closing down hundreds of monasteries and fundamental changes in the structure of the church. Of particular interest was the abolition of baroque forms of piety, such as processions, the Wetterläuten (church bells that were rung to forestall bad weather), and the prohibition on dressing the statues of Virgin Mary in festive robes.