Card with portrait of Benedetto M. Maltempi, Montreal, QC, date unknown
Card with black and white portrait of Benedetto M. Maltempi, Montreal, QC, date unknown. Printed in French on the bottom is (translated): Father Benoit M. Maltempi, Head of the Provincial Order of the Servite Friars (or Servants of Mary). The purpose of this card is not known.
Father Maltempi was a prominent presence in the Italian community of Montreal in the 1930s. Based in the Madonna della Difesa Church, he seems to have actively supported fascism and the government of Benito Mussolini. Interned as a threat to the Canadian state on June 10, 1940, he was a comforting presence to some Italian Canadian internees in the camp, allowing them to continue to practice their religion through the celebration of mass.
Maltempi is described (although not named) by Mario Duliani in his book The City Without Women: "He was a vigorous and smiling prelate whose ascetic spirit had endeared him to all his parishioners and all the Italians of Montreal. News of his arrival produced intense interest and excitement in all the Camp" (Translation by Antonino Mazza). Duliani claims that Maltempi (our priest) asked to remain in Camp to serve the internees, after his release had been approved. His request was not granted, but "the good priest did not forget his old comrades, and wrote regulary".