Pope Saint John XXIII: Secular Franciscan

On October 11, the Catholic Church celebrates the memory of Pope St. John XXIII (1881-1963), a Secular Franciscan.

Influenced by Franciscan spirituality

He was born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli in the diocese of Bergamo, Italy, the fourth of 13 children of a family of poor sharecroppers. While in the diocesan seminary, he joined the Secular Franciscan Order in 1896. At the time of John's canonization in 2014, Fr. Andre Cirino, OFM, wrote a very nice article on the influence of Franciscan spirituality in Pope John's life, "Saint John XXIII, Secular Franciscan."

Pope John XXIII birthplace 700pxlsBirthplace of Angelo Roncalli, Sotto il Monte, province of Bergamo, Italy. Several families lived in this large house.

Broad experience of the world

John was ordained in 1904, and after serving in his diocese in various positions, he entered the Vatican diplomatic corps, where he had a long and varied career, giving him a broad experience of the world. Click

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