Little-known picture reveals A LOT about John XXIII

Having hitherto used only a free, online version of Peter Hebblethwaite’s biography “Pope John XXIII”, it was quite a treat to finally find myself with a used hardcopy version. Although it took some months for it to arrive from the States, it was well worth the wait.

A casual initial flip through the book yielded this very revealing photograph, taken in 1901. It shows a group of seminarians, including the future Pope John XXIII, Angelo Roncalli. Roncalli is in the back row, on the extreme right.

As can be seen in the main image, one of the seminarians was photographed with his hand inside his cassock – a very intentional gesture designed, surely, to indicate this young man’s Masonic connections.

To the right of this potential priest is Angelo Roncalli, (circled in red) with his hand on the shoulder of the Mason.

The photograph’s caption reads, “Angelo’s ‘year’ at the Roman seminary, 1901; he is at the right hand end of the back row.”

This ‘year’ was Roncalli’s first year of theology, at the age of nineteen. Awarded a scholarship, he had relocated to Rome to continue his studies for the priesthood. Roncalli had entered the minor seminary at the age of twelve, receiving the tonsure in 1895.

When time permits, I will research the names of Roncalli’s classmates and promise to keep you posted. Who knows? I may even get my book on John XXII finished one day.

(A quick look at ordination dates would indicate that this is not Roncalli’s friend, Ernesto Buonaiuti, who was later excommunicated for his extreme Modernism.)

4 thoughts on “Little-known picture reveals A LOT about John XXIII

  1. Roncali had some very “strange friends” even as a bishop.
    There have been some indications that he was inducted into a super secret cult in Turkey long before poor ole Pius XII was conned into “stacking the deck” with the likes of him, Montini, and a bunch of others that made Vatican II possible.


    1. I have been looking for real evidence about Roncalli’s Rosicrucian connections. Hints and whispers abound, and his character flaws also indicate an occult influence, but without real evidence, it has to remain in the hearsay category, unfortunately.


  2. There’s much more that can be said of the Modernists and their various interpretations of the Hegalian dialectic. The ones that pursued the “softly, softly catchee monkey” were more successful than the bods who wanted to “speed up the process” by pushing harder… until T’Googlio Monster emerged, that is.


    1. The ‘quiet appeasers’ may have kept their jobs longer, but the in-your-face Modernists and Masons merely received sideways promotions, so no real consequences. Strange how even Bergoglio isn’t radical enough for some of them!


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