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Italian cardinal; bishop of Nuoro; archbishop of Sassari; archbishop of Turin. Considered papabile in the 1939 and 1958 conclaves. Member of the Oblates of Saints Charles and Gaudentius of Novara.


TLS - Typewritten Letter Signed, both sides of heraldic-crested monarch stationery.  Dated from Torino, 18 January 1964. Addressed to (future) Grand Referendary of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, Marquis Mario Mocchi. Reads:  Here I am, once again, to thank you for the good wishes you sent at Christmas.  I am rather late but no regrets because this involuntary delay allows me the opportunity to extend my pious fervent wishes on your name day which occurs just tomorrow. I do not know if you will come to Turin for the investiture of new knights [to the Order of the Holy Sepulchre] and I am therefore entrusting to you a letter. Before your departure for your pilgrimage to the Holy Land, I took the liberty of sending you a telegram to the Columbus Hotel, Rome and I followed you on television where you made appearances. I am pleased and delighted to be a representative of the Holy Sepulchre in Turin. I would have liked my cousin to be present at the ceremonies but, perhaps, it is better this way. He was in very poor health. I wish you a happy pilgrimage and, above all, ask that you pray for me. Best wishes for the New Year...


During WWII, Cardinal Fossati was an outspoken opponent of Fascism and asked that Catholics give refuge in their homes to Jewish refugees and Gypsies. He convinced the German army to avoid Turin, thus sparing the city from devastatiion in its 1945 retreat. Of Catholics of the Italian Resistance, author Peter Hebblethwaite observed that, by early 1944, some 20,000 partisans had emerged from Catholic Action.  Known as the "Green Flames," they were supported by sympathetic provincial clergy in the North who pronounced that the Germans were "unjust invaders" [sound familiar gentle reader?] whom it was lawful and meretorious to repeal.  Said Hebblethwaite, "bishops tended to be more cautiou but Fossati visited partisan units in the mountains, heard their confessions and said Mass for them."


Fossati crowned Pope Paul VI in 1963.

FOSSATI, Maurillo (1876-1965)