Pope John XXIII

Pope John XXIII, baptized Angelo Roncalli, was born into a peasant sharecropping family near Bergamo, in Northern Italy. He entered the seminary where his higher studies gave him expertise in Church history, especially in the period of the Reformation and Counter Reformation and in the writings of the Early Church Fathers. Yet during his seminary years, he kept in close touch with his peasant roots and spent summers working the fields with his brothers. The Holy See recognizing his ability to gain the trust of a wide variety of people and generate good will, called him to the Vatican diplomatic service, sending him to very challenging assignments in Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, and finally France. Pius XII finally called him home to Italy and made him Cardinal Patriarch of Venice. In the conclave following the death of Pope Pius XII, Cardinal Roncalli was chosen to succeed him, taking the name of John XXIII. On January 25 of the following year, 1959, he announced his intentions to convoke the Second Vatican Council. After elaborate preparations, the council convened for its first session in fall of 1962, to the great pleasure of Pope John XXIII. Yet before the second session could meet in Fall of 1963, Pope John XXIII died, and was succeeded by Cardinal Montini, Archbishop of Milan, who took the name of Paul VI. The holiness of Pope John XXIII was clearly manifest in his benevolence and striking humility. His bestselling autobiography, The Journal of a Soul, details his spiritual growth from his seminary days to the final days of his life. Proclaimed Blessed by Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII was canonized by Pope Francis on April 27, Divine Mercy Sunday, 2014.  He now lies in the main sanctuary of St. Peter’s basilica, his body in-corrupt. Biography by Dr. Italy