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Supreme pontiff; patriarch of Venice; papal nuncio to France and Bulgaria; elected as a "caretaker" pope owing to his age but, essentially, turned the church on its proverbial ear.  Convened the Second Vatican Council. Renowned for his wit and lack of pretense. Fondly remembered as "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