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Knesset honors St. John XXIII for saving Jews during World War II

May 15, 2014

Israel’s parliament held a special session on May 13 to pay tribute to Pope St. John XXIII.

“There has not been an event like today’s in the history of the Knesset, an event which is so important to our relations with the Christian and Catholic world,” said Yair Tzeven, a former government minister, according to The Jerusalem Post.

During World War II, “he did everything to save Jews,” added Isaac Herzog, a cabinet minister from 2005-11 and current opposition leader.

Herzog said that his grandfather, a prominent rabbi, met with the future Pope, then a Vatican diplomat in Turkey and Greece, and “stated that at these meetings Roncalli wept. John XXIII made tremendous efforts to save Jews, and because of him thousands of Jews were indeed saved.”


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  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - May. 16, 2014 10:21 PM ET USA

    And why is it that good Pope Pius XII has been over looked for canonization?

  • Posted by: filioque - May. 16, 2014 4:04 PM ET USA

    After the war, when Archbishop Roncalli was praised for his efforts in saving Jews, he demurred: "I did only what I was instructed to do by the Pope."