A religious youth in formation

First of all, I (Pope John XXIII as a sixteen-year-old seminary student in 1897) am profoundly convinced that holy purity comes as a grace from God, and without this grace I am incapable of it, and so in this matter I will start on the sure foundation of humility, distrusting myself and placing all my confidence in God and most Holy Mary. Therefore, every day I will pray to the Lord for the virtue of holy purity, and I will pray to Him with particular fervor at holy communion, since it is in the Eucharist that he offers me the ‘grain that shall make the young men flourish, and new wine for the maidens’. I will have a tender love for the Queen of Virgins. I will always offer the Hour of Prime of the Little Office, the first Hail Mary of the Angelus and the first decade of the rosary for the acquiring and preserving of holy purity. I will also ask Joseph, Mary’s most chaste spouse, to help me, addressing to him twice a day the prayer ‘O Guardian of Virgins’, and I will cultivate a devotion to the three saintly youths (Aloysius Gonzaga, Stanislaus Kostka, and John Berchmans) I have mentioned, whose purity I will try to copy in my own life. –‘Journal of a Soul’ Pope John XXIII


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