VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News) — All day June 3 in St. Peter’s Basilica, pilgrims filed past the flower-covered tomb of Blessed Pope John XXIII, who died on June 3 in 1963.
“I’m just thankful to be here,” says great-grandmother Georgette Sweat from Stuart, Fla. “He was one of my favorite Popes. He was so very warm and caring and charismatic — and he showed it.”
Pope John XXIII was born Angelo Roncalli in 1881 into a humble farming family in the northern Italian region of Bergamo. He rose through the diplomatic ranks of the Church before becoming Patriarch of Venice in 1953.
To the surprise of many, himself included, he was elected to the papacy upon the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958....READ MORE