Inspiration from St. John XXIII

St. John XXIII, pray for us!

Cover of Time magazine Jan. 4, 1963. Public Domain.
St. John XXIII. Image courtesy of Gedoughty02/Public Domain.

The feast day of St. John XXIII is Oct. 11. Born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, he served as pope from Oct. 281958 until his death on June 31963.

Pope Francis canonized John XXIII on April 272014.

St. John XXIII (1881–1963) began the Second Vatican Council, and was known as “Good Pope John.” In honor of his feast day, here are five quotes from some of his addresses as pope.




Peace is before all else an interior thing, belonging to the spirit, and its fundamental condition is a loving and filial dependence on the will of God.

Christmas Message of Pope John XXIII, Dec. 23, 1959


The Catholic Church, whose constant yearning is the establishment of true peace between peoples, cannot but greet with joy every sincere effort directed towards that end, and wish it the most consoling success.

— Address of His Holiness Pope John XXIII to the President of the United States of America, Dwight Eisenhower, Dec. 6, 1959


Gentlemen, you represent many, many nations before the lowly successor of Peter; we feel we can see the feelings and desires of all peoples, all their sufferings and their hopes joined together in you and we want to lay them before Jesus, the Son of God and Son of Mary. It is to him that we are lifting up our humble prayer, which is that of all men, begging heaven to grant what earth cannot give: brotherhood, love, and peace.

— Greetings of His Holiness Pope John XXIII to the Members of the Diplomatic Corps After the Midnight Mass, Dec. 25, 1960


We feel, in fact, an intimate and profound satisfaction at the thought that your work generously focused on serving the poorest, will also contribute to this great work of mercy. People will rightly praise you for it and — what is even more important — God will reward you: for whoever works for the good of his brothers in a nobly selfless spirit gives glory to God and gains his grace.

Address of His Holiness John XXIII to the United Nations Conference on New Sources of Energy, Aug. 28, 1961


Whether it be the scholar’s research, the technician’s applications, the operator’s daring, the Church applauds man’s growing control over the forces of nature. She rejoices in all progress, present and future, which allows man to understand better the infinite grandeur of the Creator, and to render to him, with greater admiration and humility, the homage of adoration and thanksgiving which is his due.

—  Address of His Holiness Pope John XXIII on the Occasion of His Annual Christmas Greeting to the Diplomatic Corps Accredited to the Holy See, Dec. 23, 1962



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