Thursday 11 October 2018

# Saints

Pope Saint John XXIII

The 11th of October is the feast day of Pope Saint John XXIII (25 November 1881 – 3 June 1963). He was born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli. He is the patron saint of Papal delegates, Patriarchy of Venice, the Second Vatican Council, Christian unity, the Diocese of Bergamo, Sotto il Monte, Valsamoggia, and the Italian Army.

Pope Saint John XIII lived between 1881 till 1963. He was the third of thirteen children born to a poor sharecropping family who lived in Lombardy, Italy. At the age of 12, he entered the seminary, served a short stint in the Italian Army, and in 1904 was ordained a priest. He later became a military chaplain during World War I. Later he served in Rome and rose in ecclesiastical rank, becoming bishop and later cardinal-patriarch of Venice. He was unexpectedly elected as the 261st Pope when he was 76 years old and took the name of John, which had not been used for over 500 years. To the surprise of all, he called the Second Vatican Council and precided over its first session. However, he died of stomach cancer, reigning as Pope for less than 5 years. He had a special concern for the equal dignity of humanity, Christian unity and world peace. He was called the “Good Pope” or “il Papa buono” in Italian. He was canonised by Pope Francis who also canonised Pope John Paul II in 2014.

Image: Portrait of Pope Saint John XXIII