October 11th: Blessed Pope John XXIII
Bailiff of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Blessed Pope John was born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli at Sotto il Monte, Italy on November 25, 1881. In 1915 he was drafted as a sergeant in the Italian military medical corps and became a chaplain to the wounded. In 1925 Pius XI made him Bishop and Apostolic Visitor in Bulgaria and he took as his Episcopal motto: Obedientia et Pax (Obedience and Peace). In 1953 he was created Cardinal and became Patriarch of Venice. In 1956 he was invested as Bailiff in the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta. At the death of Pius XII he was elected Pope on October 28, 1958. His was an authentic image of the “Good Shepherd”: meek and gentle, enterprising and courageous, simple and active. On June 24, 1961, the patronal feast of our Order, he approved the current Constitution of our Order. In 1962 he opened the Second Vatican Council. He died on the evening of June 3, 1963.
Blessed John, during the horrors of war, you served the sick, wounded and dying in military hospitaller duties, caring for their suffering bodies and souls. Pray for the multitude in the world today suffering the ravages of wars and internal conflicts.
Almighty and eternal God, who in the Blessed Pope John, you gave the world a shining example of the good shepherd, grant that we, through his intercession, may radiate with joy the fullness of Christian love. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
This information was provided by Fra’ James-Michael von Stroebel. Click here to view the complete Calendar of Liturgical Celebrations Proper to the Order.
Pictured above is Blessed Pope John XXIII.