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Supreme pontiff; patriarch of Venice; papal nuncio in Bulgaria and France. Much to the surprise of the College of Cardinals, who thought they had elected a “caretaker pope,” John XXIII heralded in an era of “aggiornamento”. In his relatively short reign of five years he convened the Second Vatican Council and many reforms. Renowned for his wit and lack of pretense, he was fondly called “Good Pope John” by millions.

TLS - Typewritten Letter Signed, one page, 3 October 1958 (typo as 2958). Personally typewritten by Roncalli on his heraldic-imprinted stationery as Patriarch of Venice...just three short weeks before being elected pope. Addressed to Cardinal Nicola Canali, (1874-1961) president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State from 1939 and as Major Penitentiary from 1941 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1935. He was Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a prestigious papal order of knighthood. Roncalli letter is accompanied by a copy of the apostolic letter of Pius XII, a copy of the complete text of Roncalli's tributee, and an earlier letter from Father Vittorio Battistin, dated 1958, as secretary to Bishop Giuseppe Carraro.

Letter reads:  I feel it will please Your Eminence by proposing a small project intended to exalt the Holy Father Pius X on the centenary of his priestly ordination. Your Eminence received the text (Italian version) of the homily I gave on that blessed day 18 September in Castelfranco, in the presence of 17 members of the episcopate and other two thousand priests. The exact centenary date was, in fact, celebrated with immense joy by all who attended, and with lively edification of the large population who, not being able to enter the church, gave proof of exultant and pious sensitivity. 

Now the idea comes to me of offering to the Grand Prior of the Holy Sepulchre the care of the publication and the Apostolic Letter from the Supreme Pontiff sent to us on the occasion... beautiful words of the new bishop Antonio Mistrorigo in the name of his diocese and, finally of the very happy and conceptual ascetic pastoral study entitled "Outlines of the Priestly Spirituality of Pius X" (written by Giuseppe Carraro, Bishop of Vittorio Veneto.

Inasmuch as Your Eminence holds the government of the Order with success and splendor, I thought it well to suggest the idea of offering these documents through Your Eminence -- the publicatioin in elegant booklet form of what was presented on 18 September at Castelfranco.

This humble servant uses this occasion to present to Your Eminence, so familiar and intimate with Pius X, a presentation in the name of the Order, conferring to you authority and prestige to publish same. I would very much appreciate your kind mention, the act of which I do not blush, of apologizing for the umbrage taken in making this proposal, realizing how much it will please many and so greatly. I humbly kiss your hand and profess to you my deep devotion. +Angelo Gius. Card. Roncalli.

The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (Latin: Ordo Equestris Sancti Sepulcri Hierosolymitani), also called Order of the Holy Sepulchre or Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, is a Catholic order of knighthood under the protection of the Holy See. The pope is the sovereign of the order. Along with the other papal equestrian orders, for example, the Teutonic Order and Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the Order of the Holy Sepulchre counts among the orders of chivalry that are currently under the auspices by the Holy See, with an additional order, Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, confirmed by papal bull but granted to a royal house.

The order today is estimated to have some 30,000 knights and dames in 60 lieutenancies around the world.The cardinal grand master has been Fernando Filoni since 2019, and the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem is grand prior. Its headquarters are situated at Palazzo Della Rovere and its official church in Sant'Onofrio al Gianicolo, both in Rome, close to Vatican City.

SEE ALSO Paul VI, Pope and Saint. We have a handsome 1956 Autograph Letter Signed of Pope Paul as Archbishop of Milan, addressed to the Marquis Mario Mocchi.

SEE John XXIII, Pope and Saint in Inventory

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