Today Christians Celebrate the Feast of St. Paul of the Cross

St Paul of the CrossSt. Paul of the Cross (1694-1775) Image: St. Paul Street Evangelization

(FranciscanMedia) Born in Italy, Paul was the son of a merchant according to SQPN and a religious devout youth, living at a time (similar to today) that many regarded Jesus as a good moral teacher but not much more.

After a brief time as a Soldier, Paul returned to solitude and prayer, developing a devotion to Christ’s passion. Paul saw in Jesus’ passion a demonstration of God’s love for all people. In turn that devotion nurtured his compassion and supported a preaching ministry that touched the hearts of many listeners. — Paul became known as one of the most popular Ministers of his day, both for his words and his generous acts of mercy.

Paul founded the ‘Congregation of the Discalced Clerks of the Most Holy Cross and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ’ whose members combined devotion to Christ’s passion with ministry to the poor and rigorous penances. — Known as the ‘Passionists’ they added a 4th vow to the traditional 3 of poverty, chastity and obedience to include, spreading the memory of Christ’s passion among the faithful. — In 1747 Paul was elected ‘Superior General’ of the congregation, spending the remainder of his life in Rome.

In the month of October, 1775 Paul died and was Beatified in 1852 and Canonized in 1867 by Blessed Pope Pius IX

Over 2000 of St. Paul of the Cross letters and several of his short writings have survived and are available here courtesy of the ‘Passionate Nuns’ and here and at Amazon.com

More here from American Catholic

Today Christians Honor St. Isaac Jogues, St. John de Brebeuf & Companions, Martyrs for Christ

St Isaac Jogues and CompanionsSt Issac Jogues (1607-1646) and Companions (1593-1649)
Image Courtesy: St. Paul Street Evangelization

(EWTN) The labors of the Jesuit and Franciscan Missionaries in the New World (North America) form an important chapter of the Church and the Western Hemisphere.

These Missionaries were for the most part men of culture and learning, carefully chosen and rigorously trained. Many of them gave up important careers in the Church to endure the dangers and hardship of the wilderness. In New France, as Canada was called then, this is where Jesuit Isaac Jogues spent his Missionaries years. Their lot was hardship, disease, solitude and not uncommon torture and/or violent death.

The perils of forest and trail, the intense cold, miserable food and pest infested huts of the Indians, changed them after a few years into haggard old men, yet their spirits remained undaunted, strengthened as they were by a resolute faith. — What the American Historian Francis Parkman in his book ‘The Jesuits in North America’ (available at Amazon.com) he wrote of Fr. John de Brebeuf, Jesuit leader in Canada, applies most equally to the other members of this noble band:

“His was the ancient faith uncurtailed, redeemed from the decay of centuries, kindled with new life and stimulated to be preternatural and fruitfulness.”

The pioneer French Explorers Cartier and Champlain, were men of devotion, eager to have the aid of the religious orders in opening up the new continent and both Jesuits and Franciscans were encouraged to establish Catholicism in Canada–Jesuits led the way there, while Franciscans and Dominicans became active in the SW United States and in South America.

Early in the 17th century, the Jesuits began to arrive in Quebec and quickly pushed on into the interior to be engulfed by the forest or to be taken prisoner by the Indians to be treated as Slaves or objects of barter, yet at times they were met with heartening response. Among the more notable of these men were: Fr. Brebeuf; Daniel; Masse; Lalemant; Chabanel; Ragueneau; Garnier; Fr. Jorgues and Le Jeune.

It was Le Jeune a Huguenot (a French Protestant) in his earlier days, that conceived the plan for keeping his Superiors of the ‘Society of Jesus’ as well as the European Laity informed of the great undertaking by the careful compilation of Missionaries letters which described in detail their experiences and impressions.

Every Summer for a period of 40 years these reports were dispatched back to Paris, where they were published serially under the title:

‘Jesuit Relations’ (1610-1791) — They form an historical chronicle of the highest value and it is to them that we are mainly indebted for our knowledge of Fr. Jogues.

Fr. Isaac Jogues joined the Jesuits at France Rouen in 1624 according to SQPN teaching literature. Fr. Jogues became a Missionary to New France (now Canada) in 1636 starting in Quebec, he worked with the Hurons and Petuns (native Americans) in the area around the Great Lakes.

This was a rough assignment for Fr. Jogues, not only were the living conditions harsh but the local Indians blamed the ‘Blackrobes’ for any disease, sickness, bad luck or any of their problems that occurred.

In August 1642, Fr. Jogues was captured by the Mohawk Indians, enslaved, tortured and mutilated for 13 months. While there, he continued to minister Christianity to any one that would listen. With the help of local Dutch Settlers, he was finally able to escape his captivity and returned to France to recover. — In 1644, Fr. Jogues would return to New France, to continue his work with the Indians and negotiated a peace-treaty with the Iroquois.

St. Jogues, St. Brebeuf and several Lay Missionaries were subsequently blamed for ‘Christian Sorcery’ by the Indians because of an epidemic of crop failures and were martyred for Christ in October in 1646 at Ossernenon, what would later become part of New York State. — In 1925 St. Jogues was Beatified and was Canonized in 1930 by Pope Pius XI

More here from EWTN and here from American Catholic

Today Christians Celebrate Feast of St. Luke the Apostle, Patron Saint of Physicians & Surgeons

St LukeSt. Luke the Evangelist & Apostle -Image: St. Paul Street Evangelization

(Franciscan Media) St. Luke wrote one of the three major portions of the New Testament a two volume work composing the third Gospel (probably written around AD 70 and 85) and Acts of the Apostles. In the two books he shows the parallel between the Life of Christ and that of the Church.

St. Luke is the only non-Jewish Christian among the Gospel writers. Tradition holds him to be from Antioch of SyriaSt. Paul (Feast Day: 29th June) refers to him as “the beloved physician,” — See: Colossians 4:14

During St. Paul’s second missionary journey (*) See: Acts 15:36 – 18:22 St. Luke remains at Philippi for several years until St. Paul returns from his third mission journey (*) See: Acts 18:23 – 21:26 and accompanies St. Paul to Jerusalem, remaining near him when he’s imprisoned at Caesarea. During these two years, St. Luke had an opportunity to seek information and interview persons who had known Jesus. St. Luke accompanied St. Paul on the dangerous journey to Rome where he was a faithful companion: “Only Luke is with me,” –2 Timothy 4:11 St. Paul writes.

More here from American Catholic and here from EWTN

See Commentary: (*) Apocryphal Acts of St Paul -Catholic Encyclopedia

St. Luke: “Authenticity of the Gospel” –Catholic Encyclopedia

Today Christians Celebrate the Feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch, Martyr for Christ

St IgnatiusSt. Ignatius of Antioch  –Image Courtesy: Archbishop Jose Gomez

(CNA) Born around the year 50 in Syria, Saint Ignatius is said to have been personally instructed together with another future Martyr for Christ Saint Polycarp (Feast Day: 23 February) by the Apostle St. John.

When Ignatius became the Bishop of Antioch around the year 70, he assumed leadership of a local Church that was according to tradition, first led by Saint Peter before his move to Rome.

Although Saint Peter transmitted his Papal primacy to the Bishop’s of Rome rather than Antioch, the city played an important role in the life of the early Church. — Located in present day Turkey, it was the chief city of the Roman Empire and was also the location where the Believers in Jesus’ teachings and the resurrection were first called ‘Christians.’

Ignatius led the Christians of Antioch during the reign of the Roman Emperor Domitian the first of the emperors to proclaim his divinity by adopting the title ‘Lord and God’ — Subjects who would not worship the emperor under his title were subject to the punishment of death. As the leader of a major Catholic diocese during this period, Ignatius showed courage and worked to inspire it in others.

After Domitian’s murder in the year 96 his successor Nerva reigned only briefly and was soon followed by Emperor Trajan and during his reign, Christians were once again liable to death for denying the pagan state religion and refusing to participate in its rites. It was during his reign that Ignatius was convicted for his Christian testimony and sent from Syria to Rome to be executed.

Escorted by a team of military guards, Ignatius nonetheless managed to compose seven letters, six to various local Churches throughout the empire (including the Church of Rome) and one to his fellow Bishop Saint Polycarp, who gave his own life for Christ several decades later.

Saint Ignatius’ letters passionately stressed the importance of Church unity, the dangers of heresy and the surpassing importance of the Eucharist as “the medicine of immorality.” These writing contain the first surviving description of the Church as ‘Catholic’ from the Greek word indicating both universality and fullness. 

One of the most striking features of Ignatius’ letters is his enthusiastic embrace of martyrdom as a means to union with God and eternal life.

“All the pleasures of the world and all the kingdoms of this earth shall profit me nothing. — It is better for me to die in behalf of Jesus Christ, than to reign over all the ends of the earth,” Ignatius wrote to the Church of Rome.

“Now I begin to be a disciple,” Ignatius declared. “Let fire and the cross; Let crowds of wild beasts; Let tearing, breakings and dislocations of bones; Let shatterings of the whole body and let the dreadful torments of the Devil come upon me, only let me attain to Jesus Christ.”

Saint Ignatius bore witness to Jesus Christ publicly for the last time in Rome’s Flavian Amphitheater where he was mauled to death by lions.

“I am the wheat of the Lord,” Saint Ignatius declared before facing the lions. “I must be ground by the teeth of these beasts to be made the pure bread of Christ.”

In 2007 Pope Emeritus Benedict XIV said of Saint Ignatius: “No Church father has expressed the longing for union with Christ and for life in Him with the intensity of Ignatius.”

More here from American Catholic and here from EWTN

Today Christians Celebrate Life of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Patron Saint of Devotees of the Sacred Heart

St Margaret Mary AlacoqueSt. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) Image: Archbishop Jose Gomez

(Franciscan Media) Born in France at L’Hautecourt Burgundy, Margaret Mary was chosen by Christ to arouse the Church to a realization of the love of God symbolized by the Heart of Jesus.

Margaret Mary’s early years were marked by sickness and a painful home situation. “The heaviest of my crosses was that I could do nothing to lighten the cross my mother was suffering.” — After considering marriage for some time, Margaret Mary entered the ‘Order of Visitation Nuns’ at the age of 24

A Visitation Nun was ‘not to be extraordinary except by being ordinary.’ The young Margaret Mary was not to enjoy this anonymity , a fellow Novice (shrewdest of critics) termed Margaret Mary humble, simple and frank but above all kind and patient under sharp criticism and correction. Sister Margaret Mary could not mediate in the formal way expected, though she would try her best to give up her ‘prayer of simplicity’ — Slow, quiet and clumsy, Sister Margaret Mary was assigned to help an Infirmarian (one who cares for those who become ill and older Nuns in a Monastery) who was a bundle of energy.

In December 1674 three years a Nun, Sister Margaret Mary received the first of her many revelations, she felt ‘invested’ with God though always fearful of deceiving herself in such matters. — The request from Christ was that His love for mankind be made evident through her. During the next 13 months, Christ would appear to Sister Margaret Mary at intervals. Christ’s human heart was to be the symbol of His divine human love.

By Sister Margaret Mary’s own love, she was to make up for the coldness and ingratitude of the world–by frequent and loving Holy Communion, especially on the first Friday of each month, together with an hour’s vigil of prayer every Thursday night in memory of His agony and isolation at Gethsemane. — Christ also asked that a ‘Feast of Reparation’ be instituted. 

In 1275 according to SQPN Sister Margaret Mary received 12 Promises to her and to those who practiced a true devotion to His Sacred Heart whose ‘Crown of Thorns’ represented His sacrifices. This devotion encountered violent opposition especially in Jansenist areas but has now become widespread and popular.

Like all Saints, Sister Margaret Mary had to pay for her gift of holiness–Some of her fellow Sisters were hostile. Theologians who were called in declared her visions delusions and suggested that she eat more heartily. Later parents and children that she taught called her an impostor, an unorthodox innovator however a new Confessor and Jesuit St. Claude de la Colombiere (Feast Day: 15 February) recognized Sister Margaret Mary’s genuineness and supported her.

Against Sister Margaret Mary’s great resistance, Christ called her to become a sacrificial victim of the shortcomings of her own Sisters and make this known.

After her service to  God as a Novice Mistress and Assistant Superior, Sister Margaret Mary facing her last illness with courage according to Catholic News Agency Sister Margaret Mary would frequently pray the words of Psalm 73 she would pass away in October 1690 at the age of 43

Loyal Servant of God, Sister Margaret Mary was Beatified in 1864 by Pope Blessed Pius IX and Canonized in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV

More here from American Catholic

Today Christians Celebrate Feast of St. Teresa of Avila, Patron Saint of People in Religious Orders

St Theresa of AvilaSt. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) Image Courtesy: Fr. Brad Sweet

(CNA) Born in Spain at Avila Castile City, Teresa Sanchez Capeda, was the third in a Jewish family who converted to Christianity during the reign of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella — Teresa’s father Alphonsus became a very religious Catholic and owned a collection of spiritual books of the type Teresa would later compose herself.

As a child, Teresa was fascinated by stories of the Saints and Martyrs for Christ as was her brother Roderigo according to EWTN who was near her age and her childhood friend. Once when Teresa was just 7, the trio of friends made a plan to run away to Africa where they may be Martyred by the Muslim inhabitants. — They set out on their way secretly, expecting to beg their way there like the poor Friars but only had gone a short distance from home when the three friends were met by an Uncle and returned to their anxious Mother, who had sent servants into the streets to search for them. Subsequent to this, both Teresa and her brother Roderigo now thought they may like to become ‘Religious Hermits’ they attempted to construct little stones from stones they found in the garden.

When Teresa was just 14 yrs old, her mother died causing Teresa to suffer much grief, prompting her to embrace an even deeper devotion to the Virgin Mary as her spiritual mother. Together with this good resolution, Teresa also developed immoderate interests in reading popular fiction and caring for her personal appearance.

Though Teresa’s ‘Spiritual Directors’ later in life would just these thoughts and ideas relatively minor, they still would represent a noticeable loss of her Childhood zeal for God. — A little later in Teresa’s life, her father Alphonsus decided that his teenage daughter needed a change of environment and he sent Teresa to be educated in a Convent of Augustinian Nuns. While Teresa found their life dull at first she soon came to understand and realize its spiritual advantages.

After about a year-and-a- half in the Convent, Teresa fell ill what according to EWTN seems to have been a “malignant type of malaria” and her father Alphonsus brought her home to recover. After Teresa recuperated, she went to stay with her eldest sister who had married and gone to live in the country but insisted that she’d return to the Carmelite Convent as soon as she was able.

After about 3 yrs, Teresa returned to the Convent, her intelligence, warmth and charm made her a favorite and she found much joy and pleasure being with the others. It was a custom in Spain during those days for the young Nuns to receive their acquaintances  in the Convent’s parlor and Teresa spent much time their, chatting with friends.

Teresa became especially attracted to one of the visitors whose company was disturbing to her, though she told herself there could be no question of sin, since she was doing what so many others better than her were doing. During this relaxed time, she gave up her habit of ‘mental praying’ using as a pretext the poor state of her health.

“This excuse of bodily weakness,” she would write afterwards, “was not a sufficient reason why I should abandon so good a thing, which required no physical strength but only love and habit. In the midst of sickness the best prayer may be offered and its a mistake to think it can only be offered in solitude.”

Teresa would subsequently return to the practice of ‘mental prayer’ and never abandoned it again.

For the next 3 years Teresa made remarkable progress in her spiritual life, developing the practice of recalling herself into the presence of God though quiet contemplation. When Teresa was nearly 40, she experienced profound changes within her own soul together with remarkable visions that appeared only could come from God.

Under the direction of Teresa’s Confessors, she would write about some of these experiences in an autobiography The Life of Teresa of Jesus that she completed in 1565

Teresa had always been accustomed to contemplate Christ’s presence within her after Him in the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Now however she understood that the presence she received did not simply fade:

God was in-fact, with her always and had been all along. It was simply a matter of putting herself in God’s presence with love and attention–as anyone can do at any moment.

This revolution in Teresa’s spiritual life, enabled her to play a significant role in the renewal of the Church that followed the ‘Council of Trent’ — Teresa proposed the Carmelite Nuns return to their original rule of life, a simple and austere form of monasticism that was founded on silence and solitude which had received Papal approval during the 12th century and was believed to date back to the Old Testament Prophet of Elijah.

Together with Teresa’s close collaborator, the Priest and writer who would later be Canonized St. John of the Cross (Feat Day: 14 December) she founded what is known today as the Order of Discalced Carmelites ‘discalced’ meaning barefoot, symbolizing the simplicity which they chose to return the Order after a period of corruption. The reform met with fierce opposition but later resulted in the founding of 30 Monasteries during her lifetime.

Teresa’s health failed her for her last time while she was traveling through Salamanca in NW Spain in 1582 Teresa accepted her final dramatic illness as God’s chosen means of calling her into His presence forever.

“O my Lord and my Spouse, the desired hour is now come,” Teresa stated. “The hour is at last come, wherein I shall pass out of this exile and my soul shall enjoy in Thy company what it hath so earnestly longed for.”

Teresa died in October 1582 in the arms of her Secretary and close friend Blessed Anne of Saint Bartholomew according to SQPN

St. Teresa was Beatified in 1614 by Pope Paul V and Canonized in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV together with three of her great contemporaries: Saint Ignatius of Loyola  Saint Francis Xavier and Saint Philip Neri

In 1970 Pope Paul VI proclaimed St Teresa of Avila as one of the first two Women ‘Doctors of the Church’ together with the 14th century Dominican St. Catherine of Siena

More here from American Catholic

Today Christians Celebrate the Feast of Pope Saint Callistus I, Martyr For Christ

Pope St Callistus IPope Saint Callistus I –Image: St. Paul Street Evangelization

(Franciscan Media) The most reliable information about today’s Saint, Pope Callistus I that we have to rely upon comes from his one time enemy Saint Hippolytus (Feast Day: 13 August) an early Antipope, who later was reconciled with the Church and Martyred for Christ.

Callistus was born a slave according to SQPN owned by Carpophorus a Christian in the household of Caesar. — Callistus was put in charge of the bank of his Master which took in several deposits, he had made several loans to people that refused to pay back their loans and the bank went broke. Knowing that he would be blamed and punished, Callistus fled but was subsequently caught and returned to Carpophorus. Several depositors begged for Callistus’ life believing that he had not lost thew money but just hid it–they were wrong. Callistus was not a thief, just a victim but nevertheless, he was sentenced to work in the Tin Mines.

By a quirk of Roman Law, the ownership of Callistus was transferred from Carpophorus to the State and when he was subsequently ransomed out of his sentence with a number of other Christians he became a Free man, later residing in Anzio, which was the site of the famous WW II beachhead.

After Callistus was Freed from slavery, he was made Superintendent of the public Christian burial grounds in Rome (to this day its still called the Cemetery of St. Callistus) probably the first land owned by the Church.

Pope Zephrinus Ordained Callistus a Deacon, together with making him his friend and advisor. — Callistus was subsequently elected Pope by a majority vote of the Clergy and Laity of Rome. 

During his Papacy, Pope Callistus I was on more than one occasion accused of heresy by St. Hippolytus for such actions such as permitting a return to Communion for those who had sinned, repented and done penance or for declaring that differences in economic class were no barrier to marriage. This last, put in him conflict with Roman Civil Law but Pope Callistus argued that in matters concerning the Church and the Sacraments, Church Law trumped Civil Law.

In both cases, Pope Callistus taught what the Church has taught for centuries, including today and though a whole host of Schismatics wrote against him, his alleged crimes appear to have been the practice of Christianity — Pope Callistus was subsequently Martyred for Christ during the persecutions of Roman Emperor Alexander Severus (222-235) and is the first Pope (except for St. Peter) to be commemorated as a Martyr of the Church.

More here from American Catholic

Today Christians Celebrate the Feast of St. Edward the Confessor, King of England

St Edward the ConfessorSt. Edward King of England (1003-1066) Image: Aidan Hart

(CNA) Son of Ethelred II and Emma, daughter of Duke Richard of Normandy according to EWTN when hardly 10 yrs old, Edward was sent with his brother Alfred into Normandy to be brought up by the Court of the Duke, when the Danes seized control of England–this early experience of loss and his earnest religious convictions, caused him to renounce worldly ambition and devote himself to the love of God.

Upon the death of the Danish King Canute, Edward was called to the throne of England which he accepted dutifully and held the rest of his life.

King Edward’s Saintly bearing made him a popular sovereign and his actions even more so, he abolished an unjust tax and was known to cure people with his touch. — Having made a vow of chastity, he accepted marriage to the virtuous Editha according to New Advent.org for the sake of his kingdom but lived with her in celibacy by agreement as a sister.

Unable to fulfill a vow to embark on a pilgrimage to St. Peter’s tomb without leaving England’s subjects vulnerable to attack, his vow was commuted by the Pope into the rebuilding at Westminster of St. Peter’s Abbey, the dedication of which took place but a week before his death.

King Edward was Canonized in 1161 by Pope Alexander III

More here by Catholic Ireland

Today Christians Celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Pillar

Our Lady of the PillarOur Lady of the Pillar — Pray For Us –Image: Catholic News Agency

(CNA) The first Marian apparition in history appeared to St. James the Apostle, the Brother of St. John the Evangelist on the bank of the river Ebro in Spain Saragossa — Unlike every other recorded apparition, this one took place during the earthly life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.

According to tradition, Mary promised St. James, that when he needed it most during his difficult mission to what is now Spain, that the Blessed Virgin Mary would appear to him and encourage him.

In the year 40 AD while St James was praying one night, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared with the ‘Child Jesus’ standing on a pillar and asked St. James together with his eight disciples to construct a Church on the site, promising him that “it will stand that moment until the end of time in order that God may work miracles and wonders through my intercession for all those who place themselves under my patronage.”

The Church of Our Lady of the Pillar (photo gallery) in Spain, Zaragoza, is the very first Church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary in history and is standing to this day, having survived invasions and wars. — During the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 three bombs were dropped on the Church and not one of them exploded.

Our Blessed Lady is also said to have given the small wooden statue of the apparition to St. James which now stands on a pillar in the Church.

Nuestra Senora Del Pilar (Our Lady of the Pillar) is the Patron Saint of Spain and all Latino people — On this day in 1492 the ‘Feast of the Virgin Pillar’ is the day Christopher Columbus first sighted American land and when the first Holy Mass was first celebrated in America.

More here on Spain’s Natl Holiday & the Feast of the Virgin of Pillar

Related: Saint of the Day — St. Seraphin of Montegranaro -Franciscan Media

Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos

Today Christians Celebrate Feast of Pope Saint John XXIII

Pope St John XXIIIPope Saint John XXIII (1881-1963) Image Courtesy: Pinterest

(CNA) Born Angelo Giusppo Roncalli in Italy Sotto il Monte, Angelo was the 4th child of 14 of a peasant but deeply religious family–Angelo’s Christian education was entrusted to his Godfather, who instilled into young Angelo a deep love and admiration of the mystery of God.

Angelo would enter the minor seminary at the age of 11 and became a ‘Secular Franciscan’ just 4 yrs later. By the age of 20, Angelo would enter the ‘Pontifical Roman Seminary’ and was Ordained into the Priesthood just 3 years later, subsequently he was appointed Secy to the Bishop of Bergamo and would teach in the Seminary. — Angelo’s great friends during this formative period were St. Charles Borromeo and St. Francis de Sales two outstanding intellectuals and also formidable pastors.

Fr. Angelo served as a military Chaplain during WW I following the war he would serve as a spiritual director at a Seminary and in 1921 served as the Italian President of the ‘Society for the Propagation of the Faith’ — In 1925, Pope Pius XI made him a Bishop and sent him to Bulgaria as the ‘Apostolic Visitator’ in 1935 he was assigned to Turkey and Greece where he would minister to Catholics and engaged in dialogue with Orthodox Christianity and Muslims.

During WW II Bishop Angelo Roncalli used his diplomatic skills to save as many Jews as he could by obtaining safe passage for them. Following WW II he was made Cardinal in 1953 and Patriarch  of Italy Venice, three day later–In  1958 he was elected the 261st Pope following the death of Pope Pius XII

As Pope John XXIII he stressed his own ‘pastoral duties’ and became an example of a ‘Pastoral Pope’ a Good Shepherd who cared deeply for people. — Pope John XXIII manifested this concern in his social encyclicals, especially “Pacem in Terris” (On Peace in the World) Pope John XXIII greatest act however was undoubtedly the inspiration to convoke the ‘Second Vatican Council’ which he opened on this date in 1962

 Pope John XXIII spirit of humble simplicity, profound goodness and deep life of prayer, radiated in all that he did and inspired people to affectionately call him “Good Pope John.”

In 1963 “Good Pope John” passed away of stomach cancer according to SQPN — Pope John XXIII was Beatified in 2000 by Pope Saint John Paul II and Canonized in 2014 by Pope Francis, alongside the man who Beatified him Pope Saint John Paul II

More here from American Catholic and here from EWTN