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Leonardo "Leon" Fortunato

Gender Male
Nationality Caucasian Italian
Born ? Years before Rapture
Died 21 months from start of Tribulation, was soon resurrected
Occupation Former businessman, assistant to Nicolae Carpathia, later made Supreme Commander of the Global Community, then Most High Reverend Father of Carpathianism
Relatives Unnamed mother (mother), Satan (spiritual mentor)
Religion Roman Catholic (originally, nonbeliever)
Theosophy (converted, pre-Tribulation
Satanism
Enigma Babylon (early Tribulation)
Carpathianism (later Tribulation)
Spiritual State Condemned
First Appearance Nicolae (publishing order)
The Regime (canonical order)

Leonardo "Leon" Fortunato is a prominent member of the Global Community, serving under Nicolae Jetty Carpathia as the Supreme Commander and then later as the Most High Reverend Father of Carpathianism. In the Left Behind series, he plays the role of the False Prophet, and serves as the tertiary antagonist.

Appearance

No one but God actually knows what Leon Fortunato looks like. However, it is possible that he looks like his voice actor in the Dramatic Audio presentations, James Zoccoli (but in a religious suit with 666 on it), during the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation, but this is currently unknown, as his first appearance was in Nicolae, and it never became a film. It definitely could, though, when the time is right.

In Soul Harvest, he was described as a "dark swarthy man, short and stocky with black hair and dark eyes". However, in The Mark, he was described as a "husky, swarthy man a tick under six feet tall". In The Mark, when he was standing behind on pulpit on a television broadcast, David Hassid noticed that his height has seemed to change. It appeared that Leon was standing on some platform or a box because Peter Mathews who stood on same pulpit at the Church of Carpathia, but looked smaller, despite Mathews being a few inches over six feet tall.

In Glorious Appearing, while he was out in the field with Carpathia, he wore a Unity Army getup that was too short and too tight, and that outfit was "religiousized" with a large gold chain hanging from his neck that had "216" dangling from it. He received a 216, as opposed to a 6 for the regional code of the United European States, on his right hand for his mark of loyalty.

Personality

Nicolae Carpathia regards Leon Fortunato as a trusted friend and advisor which obviates the need for Nicolae to implant ideas in his mind or manipulate him through hypnosis as Carpathia did with Enoch Litwala. Carpathia also said that despite Fortunato's idiosyncrasies and foibles, he is a man who anticipates Carpathia's needs and desires. One example of this was Fortunato ordering the destruction of all the religious artwork in the Vatican and relics that glorified the God of the Bible over the objections of other Carpathia supports who wanted to preserve those priceless works for posterity. Carpathia also expressed admiration towards Fortunato that upon hearing about dissent and protests among those who have taken the mark of loyalty, Fortunato proposed on his own initiative, as opposed to be a sycophantic yes-man, that the worship the image of Carpathia three times a day is compulsory for the citizens of the Global Community.

In Soul Harvest, Rayford Steele enjoyed listening to the conversations between Supreme Commander Fortunato and Pontifex Maximus Peter Mathews because of their contrasting personality as Leon was as a Carpathia groupie while Mathews was condescending and independent. Leon started calling Carpathia "His Excellency" something that Mathews objected to, before the resurrection of Carpathia and the establishment of Carpathianism (and the effective apotheosis of Carpathia). Leon also insisted to be called "Supreme Commander" and objected to being called "mister" by Mathews.

In The Mark, as he was delivering a speech in the Church of Carpathia, Leon spoke solemnly in a deep bass voice when he brought to attention the fact that Jerusalem had not started building their replica statue of Carpathia. Leon said, "Speaking under the authority of the risen potentate, I say woe. Woe and beware to the enemies of the lord of this globe who would thumb their noses in the face of the most high!" Shortly afterward, he spoke in an avuncular tone, reminding the audience that His Excellency is the embodiment of "love and forgiveness and long-suffering", although Leon did mention that he was imbued with power to call down fire from heaven to destroy the disloyal.

Immediately after Carpathia murdered Walter Moon in cold blood, Fortunato expressed his adulation to Carpathia saying, "I worship you risen master," despite Carpathia committed a heinous act in the vicinity of Leon. Carpathia does not always appreciate these cloying gestures of reverence since he furiously said to Fortunato that he would kill him if he did not shut up.

In Desecration, he did stand up to Carpathia, Leon objected when Carpathia called his legions of miracle workers and sorcerers who would be performing wondrous signs in Carpathia's name "underlings" once Leon laid hands on them to confer them power that he had been imbued from Carpathia. Leon had some attachment and respect to his agents since Leon preferred Carpathia not to call them "underlings".

He is so obsequious to Carpathia that he often using flattering language to him and turns many occasions when he is in Carpathia's presence to be a religious ceremony. During the Battle of Armageddon, he used a small decanter of holy water and slouched it around Carpathia while singing "Hail Carpathia". Carpathia was confused, asking him what he was doing. Leon said he was leading the assembly in worship, but Carpathia did not appreciate that since he wanted Leon to attend to the military nature of the situation.

His sartorial gaudiness and extravagance is the source for some of the series' humor. The leader of Enigma Babylon One World Faith, Peter Mathews, also wore ornate clothing depicted for comic effect. Leon sometimes rips and trips over his ornate robes.

Powers and Abilities

Fortunato was given authority to call down fire from heaven, in the from of a flaming pillar or single blast, along with various other demonic abilities. He lost his authority and powers upon being thrown into the Lake of Fire.

Novels

The Regime: Evil Advances

In his native Italy, Leon grew up fascinated with the trappings of Catholicism, although he never truly believed in any of the Church's teachings; Leon simply liked the pomp and circumstance. He was fond of dressing in ornate and flowing robes and strutting all over his college campus. After being expelled, Fortunato grew fond of becoming a kingmaker, preferring to work behind the scenes to elevate his chosen candidates to any positions of power they wanted.

The Rapture: In the Twinkling of an Eye

Carpathia, wanting to enter politics himself, employed Leon on his staff, and grew to value the older man's counseling; although Leon tended to be clingy and sycophantic, he taught Carpathia humility (or, specifically, how to feign humility) which proved to be very valuable on the world political stage.

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist

When Carpathia creates the Global Community, he appoints Leon to the position of Supreme Commander, the deputy to Nicolae's Supreme Potentate. Throughout his relationship with Carpathia, Fortunato continues to fawn over the man, a fact that seems to be driven home when Leon "died" in the Wrath Of The Lamb earthquake.

Soul Harvest: The World Takes Sides

He had been buried and crushed in the rubble of the GC headquarters complex and his mother was calling him home, when he heard a voice -- Carpathia's -- calling out: "LEONARDO, COME FORTH!" in imitation of a command that Jesus Christ gave to Lazarus.

Apollyon: The Destroyer is Unleashed

Leon is revived, and then becomes more faithful than ever to Carpathia, believing that Carpathia is a god incarnate. Like Nicolae, Leon regularly communicated with the 'spirit world'; it is implied that both men shared the same spiritual 'guide' - Satan himself.

Assassins: Assignment: Jerusalem, Target: Antichrist

Later, when Carpathia is slain and resurrected as prophesied, Fortunato becomes even more important, and is Carpathia's go-to man, his right hand, temporarily assuming the role of Potentate during Nicolae's three days of death.

The Indwelling: The Beast Takes Possession

He is imbued with power from Satan, and is able to kill believers (such as Annie Christopher) with the Satanic ability to call down fire from the sky, as beams from a cloudless blue sky (as he did in killing three opposing subpotentates during Carpathia's funeral), and is officially identified as the False Prophet that aids the Antichrist.

The Mark: The Beast Rules the World

Leon Fortunato is promoted to Most High Reverend Father of Carpathianism, with his first duty being the declaration of the "mark of loyalty" that all citizens of the world must bear, and the worship of the image of Carpathia which will be set up in many cities and locations.

Desecration: Antichrist Takes the Throne

During the first Bowl Judgment, where he and all those who have taken the "mark of loyalty" and worshiped Carpathia's image were suffering from painful boils, he kills Harriet Durham with a single ball of flame from the sky. Later on in the book, he makes a public declaration from the Church of Carpathia that all citizens of the world must take the "mark of loyalty" or be subject to execution, but his televised declaration was interrupted by the face of God's angel speaking Revelation 14:9-13 to the masses.

The Remnant: On the Brink of Armageddon

He is given the task of training a legion of wizards, priests and miracle-workers, who are also bestowed with various similar demonic abilities. During a televised debate between himself and Tsion Ben-Judah, Ben-Judah refused to call him the High Reverend Father.

Armageddon: Cosmic Battle of the Ages

Leon Fortunato, along with Nicolae Carpathia and Satan (who was indwelling Nicolae at the time), expel three frog-like spirits out of their mouths, to gather the Unity Army for a war against Jesus Christ.

Glorious Appearing: The End of Days

Fortunato's "glory days" are short-lived, however. He then reveals his true self: a babbling, incoherent coward. He attempted to convince Jesus Christ and His archangels during the Glorious Appearing that he had renounced Satan and Carpathia, and that they should show him mercy, but this was merely a lie. Jesus knew it, and therefore, Leon was unable to save himself from eternity in the Lake of Fire. Jesus told the False Prophet that death is too good for him. Leon was hurled down into the Lake Of Fire by the angel Michael while crying like a baby, before he did the same to Nicolae.

Kingdom Come: The Final Victory

The world catches a final glimpse of both Carpathia and Fortunato at the end of the Millennial Kingdom, when Satan himself is thrown into the Lake of Fire. Fortunato is writhing in pain and shouting "Jesus is Lord!". The scene closes and Fortunato's suffering, along with Carpathia's and his master's, is resumed for all eternity.

Films

Leon Fortunato appeared in no films so far because the previous novels, Left Behind and Tribulation Force, became films, but never showed the False Prophet; however, his first film appearance could be in Nicolae if it ever becomes a film, like Left Behind and Tribulation Force became films.

Dramatic Audio

In the Dramatic Audio presentations, Leon Fortunato was voiced by James Zoccoli.

Appearances

Left Behind series

Left Behind: The Kids

Trivia

  • Although Leon Fortunato was the head of the worship of Carpathia, he was actually a Satan-worshiper because Satan himself was his master and spiritual guide. Satan was the same to Carpathia (although Viv Ivins was one of Carpathia's two spiritual mentors alongside Satan).
  • It is currently unknown why Leonardo Fortunato chose to call himself by his nickname (Leon) rather than his first name (Leonardo).
  • Although Leon Fortunato was from Italy, he had received a 216 on his hand, as opposed to 6 for the citizens of the United European States.
  • Leon was a special guest at the graduation ceremony at Nicolae Carpathia High School in book 8. Leon witnessed Judd Thompson Jr.'s controversial speech and was seemingly angered by it.
    • This would make Leon the only Global Community official within Carpathia's inner circle that met any of the members of the Young Tribulation Force.
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