Pope Saint John XXIII was born into a peasant family and was educated at Bergamo and the Pontifical Roman Seminary. He was ordained in 1904 and was secretary to the Bishop of Bergamo, Italy. Pope Saint John XXIII served in World War 1 in the medical corps and as a chaplain. After the war, he reorganized the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and, in 1925, became an archbishop. John XXIII was Vatican diplomatic representative to Bulgaria, then to Turkey and Greece. He became a cardinal in 1953 and was elected the 261st pope in 1958. He promoted social reforms for workers, poor people, orphans, and outcasts. In 1959, John XXIII forbade Catholics to vote for Communist parties. He nearly doubled the number of cardinals, making the largest college in history. He convened the council, known as Vatican II in 1962, which was the highest point of his reign. His overflowing love for humanity and freshness to approach to ecclesiastical affairs made Pope Saint John XXIII one of the most loved popes of modern times.
Every day I need you, Lord, but today especially, I need some extra strength to face whatever is to come. This day, more than any other day, I need to feel you near me to strengthen my Courage and to overcome any fear. By myself, I cannot meet the challenge of the hour. Amen.