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Speaker 4/29/21
The Mystery of Julia Episcopa

April 29 @ 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

The Mystery of Julia Episcopa book cover

April 29, 2021
The Mystery of Julia Episcopa
John Rigoli, Author


Author John Rigoli will tell us how he came to write his novel, The Mystery of Julia Episcopa, intertwining his keen interest in history and archaeology with compelling fiction. It is a story based on the real life of Junia Episcopa, a church leader mentioned by Paul in Romans 16. It takes us from the politics and religious passion of ancient Rome, to historical researchers in modern Italy. Women archaeologists discover a document clearly falsified, changing a bishop’s name from Julia to Julius (fictionalized from Junia to Junius). They learn about the hidden life of an erstwhile unacknowledged woman bishop, and open the door to recasting history.


“…The book is the story of a coverup and its discovery…The authors go right to the heart of one of the great unknowns of Christian history: the role of women in the early church. The journey is ultimately more thoughtful and satisfying than a mere holy grail…An inventive—and highly believable—biblical revisionist tale. –Kirkus Review


John has offered to send a free copy of his book to any interested attendee, just email him your mailing address:  [email protected].

The Mystery of Julia Episcopa is the first of the The Vatican Chronicles. The next two books are slated for publication in 2021 and 2022, and all three have been proposed as a  TV mini-series.


John I. Rigoli grew up in Buffalo NY in a large immigrant Sicilian family with twenty-five first cousins. In 1964 he joined the Navy  and, as a Commissioned Officer, was sent to San Francisco where he met his wife. He served in Vietnam in 1966 on an LST supply ship (Brown Navy) in Danang and Chu Lai; left the Navy in 1968 to work for IBM in San Jose. He and his wife had four sons and now four grandsons; they were married for 50 years until she passed away five years ago.

“Having been born in 1941, we unfortunately did not learn Italian as it was not fashionable to be Italian back then, and the dialect from my family had disappeared years ago. I have been fascinated by the history and archeology of the 1st century, which led me to writing my books.”


John’s books include:

The Vatican Chronicles, Book I: The Mystery of Julia Episcopa (2018)
By John I. Rigoli, Diane Cummings

This book takes place in Italy in two time periods the 1st and 21st centuries; a woman is made a bishop, challenging the Church; the people demand change, but powerful men don’t want change…
(Best Seller: Italian Historical Fiction, Ancient Historical Fiction and Religious Historical Fiction, also available as Audiobook)


The Vatican Chronicles, Book II: The Anonymous Scribe, (Sept 2021)
By John I. Rigoli

The renowned archeologist Valentina Vella accidentally discovers a diary written before the first Gospels by an anonymous scribe recounting his life with the first Christians.


The Vatican Chronicles, Book III: Silent Mistresses  (2022)
By John I. Rigoli, Diane Cummings

A young disabled nun discovers a secret Vatican bank account which pays out $1.5 billion dollars a year to mistresses and their children by priests.


The Vatican Chronicles Proposed for a TV Series 2022
The Vatican Chronicles Pitch 12MAR2021 .pdf – Google Drive


Born to Be Different!  (2019)
By John Ignatius Rigoli (Author), Holly Withers (Illustrator)
(Best Seller, Children’s book on self esteem)




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