The Vatican Pimpernel: The World War II Exploits of the Monsignor Who Saved Over 6,500 Lives

The Vatican Pimpernel: The World War II Exploits of the Monsignor Who Saved Over 6,500 Lives

4.2 9
by Brian Fleming
     
 

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During the German occupation of Rome from 1942–1944, Irishman Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty ran an escape organization for Allied POWs and civilians, including Jews. Safe within the Vatican state, he regularly ventured out in disguise to continue his mission, which earned him the nickname “the Pimpernel of the Vatican.” When the Allies entered Rome…  See more details below

Overview

During the German occupation of Rome from 1942–1944, Irishman Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty ran an escape organization for Allied POWs and civilians, including Jews. Safe within the Vatican state, he regularly ventured out in disguise to continue his mission, which earned him the nickname “the Pimpernel of the Vatican.” When the Allies entered Rome, he and his collaborators— priests, nuns, and laypeople of numerous nationalities and religious beliefs—had saved the lives of over 6,500 people. 

The first new telling of this extraordinary story in decades, this book also addresses the fascinating dichotomy between O’Flaherty and Herbert Kappler, the Gestapo chief in Rome who ordered him killed, and who, after the war, reconciled with the monsignor, and even asked him to perform his baptism. 

For his heroic efforts, O’Flaherty was awarded the highest honors, including a Congressional Medal, and was the first Irishman named the Notary of the Holy Office. His story was immortalized in the 1983 film The Scarlet and the Black, which starred Gregory Peck as O’Flaherty.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The story it tells is extraordinary—superb book.”—Irish Independent
“Splendid study.”—Times Literary Supplement
“Superbly written.”—Mail on Sunday
“Enthralling and inspiring.”—Catholic Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781620877562
Publisher:
Skyhorse Publishing
Publication date:
08/01/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
134,448
File size:
451 KB

Meet the Author

Brian Fleming is a former member of the Oireachtas and has been a teacher for many years. He is currently principal of Collinstown
Park Community College. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.

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The Vatican Pimpernel: The World War II Exploits of the Monsignor Who Saved Over 6,500 Lives 4.2 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book.  I learned a lot about both the Catholic Church and the Irish people.  Reading real history, not fiction, is a pleasure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Real history told by those who lived it is always better than secpnd hand. A good tale of many very brave people. People can cooperate in important ways.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MartybMB More than 1 year ago
Could not put this book down. It is the story of and Irish priest assigned to the Vatican during World War II. He and his friends become involved in helping escaped allied troops. The book itself could have been more dramatic, if you read it as novel. But it is more of a documentary and most of or all of the quotes, etc are footnoted.
reader75LL More than 1 year ago
After  reading the forward, I knew that the book or story to be told was an actual accounting of historical incidents that saved the suffering POWS, mistreated Jews and Italians from the oppressive  Nazis and Fascists. This being said, It is amazing how the strengths of more or less one individual sought to right the wrongs inflicted by a society gone mad.  It developed into an interesting read and showed the magnitude of the strong personality that the priest had for getting the job done. I enjoyed the read.  
HarlieCA More than 1 year ago
This is not a novel as I thought, rather it is a detailed account of an Irish Monsenior assigned to the Vatican during WWll. It is heavily documented with lots of footnotes. It was very interesting, this priest saved the lives of 1,000's of POW escapees of all nationalities and also many persecuted Jews during the occupation of Italy by Hitler and friends. Most of the people were hidden within the Vatican City, which was a neutral country, until the war was over. Our hero, the priest, disguised himself to wonder about in Rome to help people, sometimes as a nun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago