Pope John XXIII

Article

November 27, 2021

Pope John XXIII, born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (in Latin: Ioannes PP. XXIII; Sotto il Monte, November 25, 1881 - Vatican City, June 3, 1963), was the 261st bishop of Rome and pope of the Catholic Church, primate of Italy and 3rd sovereign of the Vatican City State, in addition to the other titles of the Roman pontiff, from 28 October 1958 to his death. In less than five years of his pontificate he was able to initiate the renewed evangelizing impulse of the Universal Church. Formerly a Franciscan tertiary and military chaplain during the First World War, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 3 September 2000 and subsequently canonized on 27 April 2014, together with John Paul II, by Pope Francis.

Biography

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was born in via Brusicco in Sotto il Monte, a small town in the province of Bergamo, on 25 November 1881, to Giovanni Battista and Marianna Mazzola, the fourth of thirteen brothers. Unlike his predecessor Eugenio Pacelli, of noble lineage, he was of humble origins: the Roncalli are originally from Cepino in the Imagna valley and worked as sharecroppers. He received the sacrament of confirmation on February 13, 1889 from the bishop of Bergamo Monsignor Gaetano Camillo Guindani. Thanks to the financial help of his uncle Zaverio, he studied at the minor seminary of Bergamo; here, under the spiritual direction of Luigi Isacchi, on 1 March 1896 he entered the third Franciscan order. Thanks to a scholarship, he moved to the seminary of the college of Sant'Apollinare in Rome, then the Pontifical Roman Major Seminary, where he completed his studies. During his stay in Rome, participating in the funeral of Cardinal Lucido Maria Parocchi in 1903, he wrote: "If I possessed the knowledge and virtue of him, I could well call myself satisfied". As a boy, and during the seminary, he manifested his veneration for the Virgin with numerous pilgrimages to the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Bosco in Imbersago. In 1901 he had been conscripted and enlisted in the 73rd Infantry Regiment, Lombardy Brigade, stationed in Bergamo.

The first steps in the ecclesiastical career

He was ordained a priest on 10 August 1904 by the patriarch Giuseppe Ceppetelli in the church of Santa Maria in Montesanto, in Piazza del Popolo in Rome. In 1905 Monsignor Giacomo Radini-Tedeschi, the new bishop of Bergamo, appointed him his personal secretary. Roncalli stood out for his dedication, discretion and efficiency. In turn, Radini-Tedeschi will always remain the guide and example for Angelo Roncalli. The personality of this bishop will be able to sensitize Roncalli to new ideas and movements of the Church of the time, making him sensitive to the social question, at a time when the non expedit that, after 1861, prevented Catholics from engaging in politics was still valid. In particular, Radini-Tedeschi and Roncalli will be fundamental figures in the strike of Ranica (BG) so much so that they will also be accused by the Holy Office, only to come out unscathed. Roncalli remained at Radini-Tedeschi's side until his death on 22 August 1914; during this period he also dedicated himself to teaching Church history at the Bergamo seminary. He also distinguished himself in the work of historical research on the diocese, working on the critical edition of the acts of the apostolic visit to Bergamo of San Carlo Borromeo. He was recalled in 1915, after the war had begun, in military health and was later discharged with the rank of lieutenant chaplain. The affirmation, in 1919, of the Italian Popular Party of Don Luigi Sturzo, was seen by Roncalli as "a victory of Christian thought". In 1921 Pope Benedict XV appointed him as a domestic prelate (which earned him the moniker of monsignor) and president of the Italian National Council for the Propagation of the Faith. In this context he was responsible, among other things, with the drafting of the motu proprio of the new Pope Pius XI Romanorum pontificum, which became the magna ch

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