Pope John XXIII
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Pope John XXIII was born November 25, 1881 (Rome, Italy) with the name Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli. He was the fourth in a family of 14. The family worked as sharecroppers. The town’s priest got him interested in religion. He was considered a star pupil with his teachers. Before he could finish his studies he was drafted as a sergeant in the medical corps and became a chaplain to ...view middle of the document...
It took 4 tries of voting for him to get the two thirds majority that was needed to become pope. He was elected pope at the age of 77. During his time as pope he carried out the Christian duties of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy: visiting the imprisoned and the sick, welcoming those of every nation and faith, bestowing on all his exquisite fatherly care. Pope John XXIII also made an unusual venture into present-day politics during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. With the United States and the Soviet Union on the brink of nuclear war, Pope John XXIII made an emotional plea over the Vatican Radio: "We beg all rulers not to be deaf to the cry of humanity." Pope John XXIII is perhaps best known for convening the second Church Unity council at the Vatican, known as Vatican II. Whereas previous councils were usually organized in order to correct some doctrinal error which was becoming too popular, John XXIII purposely rejected this as his reason. According to him, “Nowadays men are condemning [errors] of their own accord.” Instead, he imagined a council which would be positive instead of negative. He sought after a council which promoted mercy, faith and the pastoral role of the church rather than merely strict adherence to a new statement of orthodoxy. This effort to promote Church Unity was a significant reason why he became so popular with non-Catholics. In September 23, 1962, an X-ray revealed that Pope John XXIII was suffering from a complex case of stomach cancer. The illness would take his life the following year. This information was not told to the public...