Litany of Saint John
(Feast Day October 11)

Biography as the call to holiness (Lumen Gentium, par. 39):

He was born Angelo Roncalli on 11-25-1881 in the Province of Bergamo, Italy. He was the firstborn son and fourth in a family of 14. His father worked as a sharecropper. Ordained a priest in 1904 he served as secretary to his bishop until 1914. During World War I he was drafted into the Royal Italian Army as a sergeant, serving in the medical corps. In 1921 Pope Benedict XV appointed him Apostolic Visitor to Bulgaria. His Episcopal motto, "Obedience and Peace" became his guiding motto. In 1935 he was named Apostolic Delegate to Turkey and Greece. In 1944, during World War II he was named Apostolic Nuncio to Paris. He used his office to help the Jewish underground in saving thousands of European refugees, leading many to call him a Righteous Gentile. In 1953 he was named Patriarch of Venice and elevated to the rank of Cardinal by Pope Pius XII. As a sign of his esteem, President Auriol of France claimed the ancient privilege possessed by French monarchs and bestowed the red hat on Cardinal Roncalli at a ceremony in the Elysee Palace. He was elected the 261st Pope of the Roman Catholic Church on October 28, 1958. He chose the name "John" to honor his father and the parish church where he was baptized. His personal warmth, natural humor and kindness captured the world's affections. On December 25, 1958 he became the first pope to leave Vatican territory since 1870 when he visited children suffering from polio at the Bambino Gesu hospital followed by a visit to Santo Spiritu Hospital. The next day he visited Rome s Regina Coeli prison, where he told prisoners: "You could not come to me, so I came to you." This pastoral outreach endeared him to many. He is the visionary and architect of Vatican II, an ecumenical Council (1962-1965) that reshaped the face of Catholicism and its relationship to the world. On Sept. 23, 1962, Pope John XXIII was first diagnosed with stomach cancer. On May 25, 1963 he suffered a hemorrhage and required blood transfusions. He died on June 3, 1963 at the age of 81, two months after the completion of his final encyclical, Pacem in Terris. On December 6, 1963, President Lyndon Johnson posthumously awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in recognition of the good relationship between the Vatican and the United States. Pope John Paul II declared him "Blessed" on September 3, 2000. Following his beautification, his body was moved from the burial places below St. Peter's Basilica to the Altar of St. Jerome and displayed for the veneration of the faithful. Following his death a diary of spiritual reflections which he had maintained since his early teens, was published under the title, "Journal of a Soul." It remains widely read. The selection of October 11th as his feast day corresponds to the day that Vatican II first session opened in Rome. He was canonized a Saint on April 27, 2014 by Pope Francis I.


God of Creation---------------------------------------------------Have mercy on us.
God of Prophets---------------------------------------------------Have mercy on us.
God of Apostles----------------------------------------------------Have mercy on us.

Angelo Roncalli, who was born of humble roots----------------------Blessed be God.
Angelo Roncalli, who was named after the forerunner of Christ--Blessed be God.
Angelo Roncalli, who matured through solitude----------------------Blessed be God.
Angelo Roncalli, who grew into a man of mission-------------------Blessed be God.
Angelo Roncalli, who became a Good Samaritan--------------------Blessed be God.

Cardinal Roncalli, a humble shepherd of souls----teach us the humbleness of Christ
Cardinal Roncalli, a kind shepherd of souls--------teach us the kindness of Christ
Cardinal Roncalli, a patient shepherd of souls-----teach us the patience of Christ
Cardinal Roncalli, a gentle shepherd of souls------teach us the gentleness of Christ
Cardinal Roncalli, a virtuous shepherd of souls---teach us the virtues of Christ

Pope John XXIII, a loving universal pastor--------------------------------Pray for us.
Pope John XXIII, a visionary universal pastor----------------------------Pray for us.
Pope John XXIII, a contemplative universal pastor----------------------Pray for us.
Pope John XXIII, a charitable universal pastor---------------------------Pray for us.
Pope John XXIII, an apostolic universal pastor---------------------------Pray for us.

Lamb of God, font of faith, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, font of hope, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, font of charity, have mercy on us.

Let us pray,
Almighty God, you formed the heart of Angelo Roncalli for service of the gospel from a humble priest to a loving supreme pastor of the universal church. His motto Obedience and Peace were the guiding words that shaped his papacy from which the vision of Vatican II was born. His boldness in being faithful to this vision opened windows in the church for renewal of miracles as of a second Pentecost. Unite us in prayer and action to evangelize those no longer in our community, and through the intercession of Mary the Mother of Jesus, and under the leadership of Peter and his successor, Benedict XVI, may we joyfully proclaim the kingdom of justice, love and peace to all. Amen.

Composed for the 100th anniversary of Infant Jesus of Prague Parish in Nashua, NH. They entered into a Covenant with St. John the Evangelist Parish in Hudson, in their 60th anniversary year, to become the Parish of Blessed John XXIII in 2007.

Composed by: Rev. Paul G. Mast
Protected by Copyright - © 2008