Historical photograph reveals a meeting between St. John XXIII and the actor who played the role of St. Vincent de Paul

by | Jun 5, 2023 | News | 1 comment

París, France – A historic photograph has surfaced, capturing a previously unknown encounter between renowned actor Pierre Fresnay and then Apostolic Nuntio, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, who would later become the beloved Pope John XXIII.

The image, whose exact date has not yet been determined, shows Pierre Fresnay and the future Pope John XXIII meeting at a location in France. This meeting is presumed to have taken place during the production of the film “Monsieur Vincent” in which Fresnay masterfully played the role of St. Vincent de Paul..

The photograph has caused quite a stir among film lovers and historians, as it represents a unique encounter between two outstanding figures in their respective disciplines. Pierre Fresnay, known for his remarkable acting talent, gave exceptional life to the charismatic St. Vincent de Paul in the 1947 film, which became a milestone in French cinema.

Pierre Fresnay in the St. Vincent de Paul Film. Color image prepared by Corazón de Paúl

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, who would later be elected Pope John XXIII, was an influential leader of the Catholic Church and a key figure in the modern history of the Holy See. His pontificate was characterized by his openness and his desire to renew and revitalize the Church.

The photograph shows both men serene. Although the exact context of their meeting is unknown, it is speculated that they may have shared impressions of the film’s depiction of St. Vincent de Paul and discussed various aspects of Vincent’s life and his legacy of service to those most in need.

The photograph also highlights the importance of art and film as a means to inspire and spread messages of faith and service. The film “Monsieur Vincent” played a crucial role in promoting the life and work of St. Vincent de Paul, and its impact may have transcended the screen to influence leaders such as Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli.

Corazón de Paúl (Heart of Paul) has done the restoration work to bring the photograph to life.

Source: https://www.corazondepaul.org/


1 Comment

  1. Aidan Rooney

    At the right side in this photo is the movie’s director Maurice Cloche.