Published on
19 April 2024

This year marks a very special occasion for the Roncalli International Foundation. It’s the 10th anniversary of the canonization of our namesake, Pope John XXIII, born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli.  The “Good Pope,” as he came to be known, continues to provide profound inspiration to our work, as we seek to be at the service of the poorest of our one human family.

His sainthood was proclaimed by Pope Francis on April 27, 2014, thus recognizing his enduring influence and legacy within the Catholic Church.

  1. Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was born on November 25, 1881, in the village of Sotto il Monte, in northern Italy, into a modest family. After serving in the army, he was ordained a priest on August 10, 1904, and later served as the secretary to the bishop of Bergamo. During World War I, he showed courage as a stretcher-bearer and later as a chaplain, providing comfort and assistance to the wounded.
  2. In 1925, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli joined the Vatican’s diplomatic service, where he was appointed Apostolic Visitor to Bulgaria. During the war years, while based in Istanbul, he played a crucial role in helping Jews from Hungary and other countries escape the Holocaust by providing them with false certificates.
  3. His diplomatic career continued with his appointment as Apostolic Nuncio to France in 1944, before being elevated to the rank of cardinal by Pope Pius XII in 1953 and appointed Patriarch of Venice. After numerous ballots, he was elected pope on October 28, 1958, becoming Pope John XXIII.
  4. His pontificate was marked by bold initiatives, including the convocation of the Second Vatican Council in 1959, aimed at modernizing the Church and promoting Christian unity. His commitment to peace and social justice was exemplary, and he is recognized for placing the poor at the heart of his pastoral action.
  5. Pope John XXIII passed away on June 3, 1963, after a battle with stomach cancer, leaving behind a legacy of compassion and inclusivity that continues to inspire generations. In this time of celebration, we pay tribute to his memory and pledge to perpetuate his work by serving the most impoverished in our world, as defined in the mission of the Roncalli International Foundation.

At the start of Vatican II, Pope John XXIII proclaimed that the Church be a “Church of all and in particular the Church of the poor.” By launching Vatican II, he set the Church on a course to embrace the modern world, to place the poor at the heart of its pastoral action and to become a community of hope.

Since 1980, thanks to your solidarity, the Roncalli Foundation has financed over 10,000 projects in 94 countries. These projects have directly helped 2.5 million people improve their living conditions and become actors of their own development.

To mark this moment of hope, we are pleased to share with you Saint John XXIII’s Daily Decalogue, which provides 10 ways to cultivate inner peace in our daily lives.

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