John XXIII’s Legacy

The Pope prays at the tomb of John XXIII.
The Pope prays at the tomb of John XXIII. (photo: AFP)

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the election of Pope John XXIII, known in Italy as “il buon Papa” (the good Pope).

And it’s certainly been an eventful five decades, as the Register noted in Father Raymond J. de Souza’s recent “Great Eights” series.

Pope Benedict XVI visited John XXIII’s tomb yesterday and spoke afterward to 3,000 pilgrims from Blessed John XXIII’s home diocese of Bergamo, Italy, who came to St. Peter’s Basilica for a memorial Mass.

Fittingly, Benedict also marked the occasion by sending a message to a conference that’s currently underway in Rome, discussing how the pontificate of Pope John Paul II was shaped by the Second Vatican Council that Blessed John XXIII convoked in October 1962.

The council, Benedict said, “came from the heart of John XXIII, but it is more accurate to say that in the end, as with all the great events in the history of the Church, that it came from the heart of God, from his salvific will.”

Speaking of the heart of Pope John XXIII, embedded below is a video of Archbishop Fulton Sheen speaking at length on that very subject…

— Tom McFeely


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