Saint John XXIII
Memorial: October 11
Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli.
At the death of Pius XII, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was elected the 262nd
Pope of the Catholic Church on 28 October 1958, taking the name John XXIII.
Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was born on November 25, 1881, at Sotto
il Monte, diocese of Bergamo, Italy. He was the third of thirteen
children of Giovanni Battista Roncalli and his wife Marianna Giulia
Mazzolla. Angelo was ordained a priest in the Roman Church of Santa
Maria in Monte Santo in 1904.
While secretary to
the bishop of Bergamo Giacomo Radini-Tedeschi, between 1905 and 1914, he wrote scholarly works, among them a
life of Saint Charles Borromeo.
World War I interrupted this
busy life. Father Roncalli became Sergeant Roncalli of the medical corps and
later Lieutenant Roncalli of the chaplains' corps. When the guns fell silent,
Roncalli returned to his old life, but not for long. In 1921 pope Benedict XV called him to
Rome to work for the important Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith.
In 1925 Pope Pius XI appointed him as Apostolic Visitor to Bulgaria, also
naming him for consecration as titular bishop of Areopolis. He chose as his
episcopal motto Obedientia et Pax ("Obedience and Peace"), which became his
guiding motto. There he spent most of World War II, and in that neutral
city, so rife with suspicion and intrigue, Roncalli managed to get along with
everybody. In 1944 he was named papal nuncio to France.
In 1953 he was
made cardinal and the patriarch of Venice.
Pope Pius XII died on October 9, 1958, and the conclave began two weeks
later. Roncalli was elected pope on October 28, 1958, taking the name John
XXIII. He was seventy-seven years old.
John XXIII is perhaps best known for convening the second ecumencial council at
the Vatican, known as Vatican II.
Apostolic Letters of Pope John XXIII: "Boni Pastoris".
Encyclicals of Pope John XXIII
|Ad Petri Cathedram
Truth, Unity and Peace
June 29, 1959
|Aeterna Dei Sapientia
Commemorating the Fifteenth Centennial of the Death of Pope St. Leo I: The
See of Peter as the Center of Christian Unity
November 11, 1961
|Sacerdotii Nostri Primordia
on St. John Vianney
August 1, 1959
on the Need for the Practice of Interior and Exterior Penance
July 1, 1962
on the Rosary: Prayer for the Church, Missions, International and Social
September 26, 1959
|Mater et Magistra
Christianity and Social Progress
May 15, 1961
Pacem In Terris
on the Establishing Universal Peace in Truth, Justice, Charity, and Liberty
April 11, 1963
on the Missions, Native Clergy, and Lay Participation
November 28, 1959
John XXIII was the most popular Pope of the 20th century, and perhaps any other,
beloved by both Catholics and non-Catholics.
He died June 3,1963 at Rome, Italy of natural causesand is buried in Saint Peter's
basilica, Vatican City. John XXIII was beatified September 3, 2000 by Pope John Paul II at Saint Peter's Square, Rome.
His canonizing is
When the body of Pope John XXIII was dug up in March 2001, he was in good
condition, despite having been dead for 37 years. "It was as if he died
yesterday" said Virgilio Cardinal Noe, who witnessed the opening of the
Pontiff’s tomb. Various news sources reported that the body of John XXIII
was "incorrupt". The official report stated: "Once freed from the cloth that
covered it, the face of the blessed appeared intact, with the eyes closed
and the mouth slightly open, and bearing the features that immediately
called to mind that familiar appearance of the venerated pontiff." The
Pope’s hands, still holding a cross, were also preserved.
Pope John XXIII
is canonized on April 27, 2014, Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by
God is gracious; gift of God (John)
Patronage: Papal delegates
Prayer of John XXIII
O Jesus in the Blessed
Sacrament, I would like to be filled with love for You; keep me closely
united with You, may my heart be near to Yours. I want to be to You like
the apostle John. O Mary of the Rosary, keep me recollected when I say
these prayers of yours; bind me forever, with your rosary, to Jesus of
the Blessed Sacrament. Blessed be Jesus, my love.
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