Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pope St John XXIII

Pope St John XXIII (1881-1963)
Pope St John XXIII will be canonized this Sunday along with Pope St John Paul II. Born Angelo Roncalli in Sotto il Monte in Bergamo, Northern Italy, on November 25, 1881, he worked with his family on the farm until he started studies to become  priest. He was the 4th child of 14, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1904, and worked as the Bishop’s secretary, and as seminary teacher. He was drafted as a chaplain and stretcher-bearer during World War I. Angelo never aspired for any promotions, and even his family remained farmers in their home, even though they could have moved in nicer residences.
As a young priest with two of his brothers
He was consecrated Bishop on March 19, 1925 and served in various posts including appointments as a papal nuncio in France, and a delegate to Bulgaria and Greece.
He was created Cardinal on January 12, 1953 and was made Patriarch of Venice. 
Roncalli was elected Pope on 28 October 1958 at the age of 76 after eleven ballots. No one could have been more surprised with the election than Roncalli himself, who had come to Rome with a return train ticket to Venice. He was the first pope to take the pontifical name of "John" upon election in more than 500 years. (to be continued tomorrow)
As Bishop Roncalli
As Patriarch Cardinal of Venice

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