Learning of the life of Angelo Roncalli, I am watching a wonderful movie ‘The Good Pope: Pope John XXIII’. The complete immersion within the Church washes over as a cleansing stream of a dream. A little boy committed to becoming a priest, leaving his farming family of many simple siblings and loving parents, ventures to the seminary where he excels in his studies. He walks alone. The romance endures, yet complexities emerge; politics, modernism and the concerns of elevating man; war and souls standing upon a precipice. The intentions of a little boy could never anticipate the world, yet innocence and love prevail within the presence of God. Angelo desired only to return to those he loved, his family and country folk, to return as a priest. God’s call was greater, pulling from the womb of tenant farmers—peasants, a brilliant rustic child, whose mind was only surpassed by his heart. At the age of seventy-six, after a full life as a loved priest, moving through intense political times, remaining devoted to the reality of all men possessing the image and likeness Christ, Angelo is authenticated as Papa. As the Pope, he would guide the Church into Vatican II, navigating all for the salvation of souls. Words as the leader of the Universal Church: ‘The Church should be a garden illuminated by God.’

Modern era Popes

Leo XIII (1878-1903)
St. Pius X (1903-14)
Benedict XV (1914-22)
Pius XI (1922-39)
Pius XII (1939-58)
St. John XXIII (1958-63)
Paul VI (1963-78)
John Paul I (1978)
St. John Paul II (1978-2005)
Benedict XVI (2005-2013)
Francis (2013—)


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