Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty

A picture of Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty. Hugh O'Flaherty, the genial Irishman from Killarney,
who became the Nazi's biggest problem in Rome.
Photo: Charles C. Fennel
Source: Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican by J.P. Gallagher
Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty was an Irish Catholic priest living in Rome during the years of World War II. He was a secretary and notary in the Vatican's Holy Office.

From 1943-1944, he was also one of the most wanted men in Rome.

For Monsignor O'Flaherty used his status as a priest and the safety of the Vatican to rescue some 4,000 Allied prisoners-of-war and an untold number of Jews and other refugees from the hands of the Nazis. The danger didn't faze him. The expense didn't bother him. And a person's nationality, religion, or politics didn't matter to him.

The Monsignor has been the subject of books, articles, television shows, and even a movie, The Scarlet and the Black, starring Gregory Peck, John Gielgud and Christopher Plummer. Despite all this, O'Flaherty's name and his courage remain largely unknown - perhaps because the man himself never sought honor or recognition for his deeds. Were he alive today, he would be extremely embarassed to have a website devoted to him.

But stories like O'Flaherty's need to be told.
Because the world needs to hear them.
So please, enjoy this site and pass it on to a friend.

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This page last updated January 1, 2010