Pope John XXIII

St. John XXIII: Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli

Coat of Arms of Pope John XXIII

Coat of Arms of Pope John XXIII


Episcopal mottoOboedientia et Pax
Pontificate: October 28, 1958 – June 3, 1963
Beatification: September 3, 2000
Canonization: April 24, 2014

Pope John XXIII, born Angelo Roncalli, is regarded by many as the ‘Good Pope’. His simple and humble demeanor bought forth fatherly love, and he communicated peace effectively through his relations with different people, his efforts reaching out to the world. His way of public speaking was less formal than what was accustomed to at the time, and so it bought him closer with the people.

Pope John XXIII

His pontificate lasted less than five years, but he is remembered as an important pope who instituted a renewal of the Church; his influence making a change in the world. This page highlights the information regarding this Saint.



November 25, 1881: Born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli at Sotto il Monte, Italy.

1892: Entered the Bergamo seminary.

1896: Admitted to the Secular Franciscan Order.

May 23, 1897: Made a profession of its Rule of life.

future Pope John XXIII (center), 1901

future Pope John XXIII (center), 1901


1901 to 1905: Student at the Pontifical Roman Seminary.

August 10, 1904: Ordained a priest.

1905 – 1914: Appointed secretary to the new Bishop of Bergamo. These were the years of his deepening spiritual encounter with two saints who were outstanding pastors: St. Charles Borromeo and St. Francis de Sales. There were also years of deep pastoral involvement and apprenticeship, as he spent every day beside “his” Bishop, Radini Tedeschi.

1915: Drafted as a sergeant in the medical corps and became a chaplain to wounded soldiers.


1921: Benedict XV brought him to Rome to be the Italian president of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.

1925: Pius XI named him Apostolic Visitator in Bulgaria.

March 19, 1925: Ordained Bishop, with the titular Diocese of Areopolis.

1925 – 1935: Bulgaria. Visited Catholic communities and establishing relationships of respect and esteem with the other Christian communities.

1928: There was an earthquake in Bulgaria, and in the aftermath of his solicitude was everywhere.

1935: Named Apostolic Delegate in Turkey and Greece.


1944: Pius XII appointed him Nuncio in France.

1953: Appointed as a Cardinal and sent to Venice as Patriarch.

October 28, 1958: Elected Pope.

January 24 – 31, 1960: First Diocesan Synod in Rome.

June 5, 1960: Established Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity.

May 15, 1961Mater et Magistra

October 11 – December 8, 1962: First period of the Second Vatican Council.

April 11, 1963Pacem in Terris

June 3, 1963: Pope John XXIII passed away.

Biography of Pope John XXIII

Impact and Legacy

Pope John XXIII

© Raimond Spekking, CC BY-SA-3.0(via Wikimedia Commons)

Called the Second Vatican Council

Reminded and strove to make Ecumenism one of the Church’s main concerns

Worked to promote peace


I want to be all and wholly for God, penetrated with God’s light, shining with love for God and all peoples…In my new stage of life, prayer must take on a new aspect.
Wherever I go I pay more attention to what we have in common than to what separates us.
Gedenktafel fur Papst Johannes XXIII. - Koelner Dom
I want to continue believing in the presence of God, the One who strengthens, cheers, and encourages me at all times.
Concerning my prayer, it is humiliating to see what little progress I have made, but I am bound to keep trying and to grow in union with God.
Today I will devote ten minutes to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary for my body, so good reading is necessary to the life of my spirit.
The feelings of my smallness and my nothingness always keep me good company.
It often happens that I wake at night, begin to think about a serious problem and decide I must tell the pope about it. Then I wake up completely and remember I am the pope.
Just remember, I am an ordinary man; I have two eyes, a nose – a very large nose. You must feel completely relaxed. We will talk person to person.
O Jesus, hold me close and near to your heart, letting mine beat with yours. I love to feel myself bound to you with a golden chain, woven of lovely delicate links.
To help me fix my thoughts on spiritual matters, I have resolved to focus on the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity.
See everything, overlook a great deal, correct a little.
I must disagree with prophets of doom who are always forecasting disaster; I believe that the human family is on the threshold of a new era.



Ad Petri Cathedram (June 29, 1959)
Grata Recordatio (September 26, 1959)
True Christian Peace (December 23, 1959)
One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic (November 13,1960)
Mater et Magistra (May 15, 1961)
The Way of Peace (September 10, 1961)
Pacem in Terris (April 11, 1963)
Letters of Pope John XXIII to his family