PART 1: Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli

PART 2: Papa Giovanni XXIII

The childhood and youth

Born in sotto il monte, son of  Giovanni battista Roncalli and Mariana Mazzola, fourth of  thirteen brothers in a family of humble origins: his parents  worked as sharecroppers. This has not prevented him, thanks to some benefactors, to study at the minor seminary of Bergamo, and then win a scholarship and move to the Seminar of Apollinare in  Rome, the current Pontifical Roman Major Seminary, where he  brilliantly completed studies and where he was ordained priest in the church of Santa Maria in Monte Santo, in Piazza del Popolo, in 1904.

In 1901 he had fulfilled the required military, enrolled in 73° infantry regiment, Brigadier Lombardy, based in Bergamo. Angelo Roncalli was called in 1915, when the war began, in military health care and was later dismissed with grade of lieutenant chaplain.

The ecclesiastical career

In 1905 he was chosen by the new bishop of Bergamo, Giacomo Maria Radini-tedeschi, as personal Secretary. Roncalli si segnalò per la dedizione, la discrezione e l'efficienza. Roncalli has a lot of dedication, discretion and efficiency. In turn-Radini tedeschi was always guide and example for Angelo Roncalli, that remain at his side until his death on August 22, 1914. During these years Don Angelo also dedicated himself to teaching at the seminar of Bergamo.
In 1921 Pope Benedict XV named him domestic prelate (and hence the title of monsignor) and president of the Italian National Council of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. In this context he occupied on the motu proprio of Pius XI Romanorum pontificum, which became the Magna Charta of missionary cooperation.

F photo with Msgr. Radini Tedeschi and his collaborators, including standing, third from right, Angelo Roncalli

The diplomamtic career

In 1925 Pope Pius XI named him apostolic visitor in Bulgaria, giving him rank of bishop with the title of Aeropolis. It was a diocese of ancient Palestine, a so-called dioceses in partibus infidelium, that is, simply, a title available to give the rank of bishop - in this case to Roncalli - without having chosen to entrust the pastoral care of a diocese effective. The new bishop, overturning the cardinal Cesare Baronio, chose as episcopal so to say Oboedientia et Pax.
During the mission in Bulgaria he had to discuss first the thorny issue of relations between the Roman rite Catholic and ritual join catholic, and be responsible for relations with the Orthodox majority. In 1935 he was appointed as Apostolic Delegate in Turkey and Greece. This period of life of Roncalli, which coincided with the second World War, is remembered in particular for its interventions in favour of the Jews fleeing from European countries occupied by the Nazis.

Patriarch in Venice

In 1953, besides being created cardinal in the consistory of January 12 of that year, he was appointed patriarch of Venice. In the lagoon city he favored the relaunch of reading the Bible, he followed the political development of the city, as well as problems of many workers.