Cast & Crew
The life story of Pope John XXIII is related with the aid of excerpts from his Giornale dell'anima and an "intermediary" who stands in for the pontiff: Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was born into a large and deeply religious farming family at Sotto il Monte on November 25, 1881. As a young child he studied Latin with a village priest, and at the age of 12 he entered the seminary at Bergamo. Because of his special devotion to the Church, he was sent to the Pontifical Seminary at Rome. He placed little value on the pomp of that city, however, preferring the quiet of the Church of Santa Maria in Monte Santo, where he was ordained in 1904. Although he would have liked to become a simple village priest, he was made secretary to Monsignor Radini-Tedeschi, Bishop at Bergamo, a position he held until the bishop's death 10 years later. Following service in the medical corps during World War I, he worked with the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, was consecrated bishop in 1925, and was sent to Bulgaria as Apostolic Visitor. Serving next in Istanbul as Apostolic Delegate to Turkey and Greece, he worked for humanitarian goals during World War II, seeking to guarantee the safety of food cargo ships entering blockaded Greek ports. After serving as Nuncio in Paris from 1944 to 1953, he was appointed Patriarch of Venice, and he regarded his new position as cardinal with great humility. While in Venice, he insisted upon confessing to a drunken priest in order to restore the man's faith. He became Pope John XXIII in 1958, continuing to pursue his main goal of "uniting the souls of men." To this end, he organized an ecumenical council.
Released in Italy in 1965 as E venne un uomo. U.S. sources credit the film as produced in association with Harry Saltzman.