Good Pope Saint John XXIII
There are many remarkable things to be said about Saint John XXIII who never tried to forget the poverty of his youth and who used the great gift of his sense of humor to put others at ease. He was an extremely forward-thinking man who brought a new sense of vitality to the Church as the author and presider of Vatican Council II.
Here we celebrate a saint whose humanness we can all relate. In the face of many who doubted the need for change, Good Pope John did not falter. He called men and women to active participation in the Faith, to a renewed sense of ownership of Christian practice and a preferential option for the poor and marginalized.
"Good Pope John" as his faithful followers called him, visited the imprisoned, the poor and those suffering. He was no stranger to those in need. "See everything, overlook much, correct little" he was known to have said in appreciating the efforts and frailty of the human condition. He was profoundly spiritual and his deep inner life propelled his efforts to open the Church to the newness of the Spirit.
His own brilliant words best honor his memory:
"I have looked into your eyes with my eyes. I have put my heart near your heart."
"I want to throw open the windows of the Church so that we can see out and the people can see in."
"Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do."
"Do not walk through time without leaving worthy evidence of your passage."
"We supplicate all rulers not to remain deaf to the cry of mankind. Let them do everything in their power to save peace. By so doing they will spare the world the horrors of a war that would have disastrous consequences, such as nobody can foresee."
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