* Known as the Pope who changed the entire image of the Catholic church in the eyes of the world * His vision was to propel him onto the world stage as he called for a Vatican Council to bring the catholic church up to date with the modern world. * Born in Bergamo, Italy 25th November 1881,
* His family recognised his devotion to study and religious life and he entered the seminary to study for the priesthood when he was 12 * Was ordained when he was 23,
* His brilliant mind then singled him out by his superiors and he was sent to rome to further his studies Life before papacy
* Appointed an apostolic visitor in Bulgaria with episcopal functions in 1925 by Pope XI. He established himself with the Catholic Church there * In 1934 he became apostolic delegate in Turkey and Greece. Within the Catholic church there, he acted with liturgical majesty and was respected by all in the orthodox church for his humble nature and his appreciation for all that was Christian. He visited the ancient orthodox monasteries and churches and venerated their icons. In this way he forged an ecumenical understanding with these brothers in Christ. * In his role during the war he was noted for his ability to hide Jews from the Nazi’s searches and by persuading the British not to consider Greece in their embargo of the Greek coast, thus saving Greek people from starvation * In 1944 he was appointed as the Papl Nuncio to France. He travelled all over and made his presence felt at every religious event and was known for his cordiality, modesty, his charity and wit and total acceptance of all without exception * In 1950 he visited the French territories in north Africa and travelled 38,000 miles in 10 days without any special priveleges. His next posting to venice was a cardinal and patriarch of venice. In 5 years he raised up 30 parishes, smartened up the cathedral and continued his ecumenical apostolate. * With the death of Pius...