Pope Saint John XXIII (Angelo Roncalli), 1881–1963
Pope John XXIII was known for his kindness and generosity. He was named Pope when he was much older. He hadn’t expected it. many were surprised when he called together a special council of bishops to talk about important things like how Catholics worship at mass and live in the world. Many people called him “Good Pope John.”
Discuss: What can you tell others about the Mass?
Pope John XXIII was the son of a poor Italian farmer. Like Jesus, he used stories from nature to teach people about God’s love. When he was a young priest, everyone loved to talk with him. He would tell jokes and make people laugh. He was an old man when he was made Pope. Even after he was the Pope, he liked to go into the streets and talk with people. Sometimes he would sneak out late at night. For Pope John XXIII, the best way to show how much God loves us was to tell stories.
During World War I, John served as a stretcher-bearer and a chaplain. He used to sneak out of the Vatican at night to walk the streets of Rome. His motto was “Patience and Peace.”
Explain that Pope Saint John XXIII was the son of a poor Italian farmer. Like Jesus, he used stories from nature to teach people about God’s love.