Feast of St. John XXIII

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This carving of Pope St. John XXIII is found on the right side of the altar at St. Bernadette Parish in Scottsdale. The parish is attached to the school that bears his name. (Tony Gutiérrez/CATHOLIC SUN)

Oct. 11

Ordained a priest in Italy in 1904, Angelo Roncalli was a medic and chaplain in World War I. He served as a Vatican diplomat in Bulgaria, Turkey and France before being named a cardinal and patriarch of Venice in 1953.

Elected pope in 1958, he convened the Second Vatican Council and issued the famous encyclical “Pacem in Terris” just months before his death from stomach cancer. In the book “Last Words,” Pope John is quoted as saying to family members by his deathbed, “Do you remember how I never thought of anything else in life but being a priest?”

He is the patron of St. John XXIII School in Scottsdale.