By Christina Hermoso
The Roman Catholic Church will celebrate tomorrow the Feast of Saint John XXIII (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli), who was canonized by Pope Francis together with Saint John Paul II on April 27, 2014 in Rome, Italy.
His feast day coincides with the anniversary of the opening of the historic Second Vatican Council, which he convened in 1962.
Fondly remembered as the Good Pope, Saint John brought the Church closer to Catholics as he instituted Holy Masses in the vernacular instead of Latin. He convened the Second Vatican Council which overhauled rituals and doctrines and reached out to other faiths.
Born on Nov. 25, 1881 in Italy, he served as Pope from October 28, 1958 up to the time of his death in 1963. He was the first Pontiff to take the pontifical name of ‘John.’ Then Pope now Saint John Paul II beatified him with Pope Pius IX and three others on September 3, 2000. In declaring him a saint, the Church bypassed the traditional required second miracle based on his merits of opening the Second Vatican Council.
Saint John XXIII made several memorable quotes such as, “We were all made in God’s image and thus, we are all Godly alike.”
To help promote devotion to St. John XXIII in the Philippines, his sacred relics were brought to key cities and provinces across the country in 2014.