Sunday, July 08, 2007

Two Hundred Sixty-first Pope: John XXIII - 0 comments

After the long reign of Pius XII, the college of cardinals elected a stop-gap pope. To their surprise, this old man made major changes to the church, and became known as one of the best-loved popes in history.

He was born in 1881, and elected in 1958 - when he as already 73 years old. It was a surprise to even him, and he immediately caused a sensation: by visiting sick children in hospitals, and people in prison. His warm nature, good humor, and loving attitude earned the admiration of catholics worldwide.

His real lasting contribution was the calling of the Second Council of the Vatican, known as Vatican II. He died of stomach cancer before the council was completed.


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