July 26 1995|
Pietro Leoni (1909-1995) was a Jesuit priest from Italy who later worked in the Soviet Union. He was born in Italy and educated at the Russicum, a Jesuit seminary established to prepare Catholic priests for missionary work in Russia. In 1941 Leoni went along with an Italian regiment aiding the German invasion of the USSR. In 1943 he was released from service as the Italian army disintegrated and he decided to stay on as a priest in Odessa. On April 29, 1945 he was arrested for counter-revolutionary activity for which was sentenced to 25 years in forced labor camps but was released in 1955 through intervention of the Vatican. Following his return to the West, Leoni served as pastor of the Russian Catholic community in Montreal, where he died on July 26, 1995.
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