Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pope John XXIII - 50 years gone

Blessed Pope John XXIII (Nov 25, 1881 - June 3, 1963)
Many people have noticed resemblances between Pope Francis and Blessed Pope John XXIII, and incidentally this week we commemorated the 50th anniversary of Pope John’s death, on June 3. He was born on November 25, 1881 in Sotto il Monte near Bergamo, northern Italy. He was elected Pope on October 28, 1958, an older Pope whom the Cardinals thought would be a transitional Pope after the long reign of Pius XII. However they were wrong as he convened the Second Vatican Council which brought many changes to the Catholic Church. Some people had remarked that they thought he would open a window and bring a little fresh air into the life of the church, but instead caused a spiritual hurricane. He will also be remembered for two great encyclicals “Pacem in Terris” (Peace on Earth) and “Mater et Magistra” (Mother and Teacher.) Blessed John XXIII died on June 3, 1963, aged 81 and was succeeded by Pope Paul VI, who continued the Council with all the Bishops and Cardinals, concluded in 1965. He was beatified on September 3, 2000.

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