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Optional Memorial of Saint John XXIII

 

On May 29, 2014, Pope Francis ordered the inscription of Saint John XXIII, Pope, into the General Roman Calendar. St. John is celebrated each year as an Optional Memorial on October 11.

The Holy See released the proper liturgical texts in Latin, and on September 21, 2019, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments confirmed the English translation of those texts. (An approval and confirmation process is still required for a Spanish translation.)

The proper texts in English for the liturgical celebration of St. John XXIII are provided below:

Roman Missal

From the Common of Pastors: For a Pope.

Collect

Almighty ever-living God,
who in Pope Saint John the Twenty-Third
have given a living example of Christ, the Good Shepherd,
to shine throughout the whole world,
grant us, we pray,
that, through his intercession,
we may joyfully pour out
an abundance of Christian charity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Lectionary for Mass

Aside from the usual Mass readings of the day, any Lectionary readings from the Common of Pastors: For a Pope may be used for St. John XXIII. The following readings from that Common, suggested by the Holy See, are also available in no. 655A of the Lectionary for Mass Supplement:

First Reading – Ezekiel 34:11-16
As a shepherd tends his flock, so will I tend my sheep.

Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 23:1-3a, 4, 5, 6
R/. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Gospel Acclamation – John 10:14
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.

Gospel – John 21:15-17
Feed my lambs, feed my sheep.

Liturgy of the Hours

From the Common of Pastors: For a Pope.

Biography

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was born in the village of Sotto il Monte in the province of Bergamo in Italy in 1881. At the age of eleven he entered the diocesan seminary and then completed his studies at the Pontifical Roman Seminary. In 1904 he was ordained a Priest and became secretary to the Bishop of Bergamo. In 1921 he entered the service of the Apostolic See as President of the Central Council for Italy of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith; in 1925 he became Apostolic Visitor and then Apostolic Delegate to Bulgaria and, in 1935, to Turkey and Greece; in 1944 he was named Apostolic Nuncio to France. In 1953 he was created Cardinal and made Patriarch of Venice. In 1958 he was elected Supreme Pontiff. During his pontificate he convened the Roman Synod, established the Commission for the Revision of the Code of Canon Law, and summoned the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. He died in Rome on the evening of June 3, 1963.

Office of Readings

Second Reading
From the addresses of Saint John XXIII, Pope
(At the solemn inauguration of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, October 11, 1962: AAS 54 [1962], 786-787, 792-793)

The Church is the most loving mother of all

Mother Church rejoices that, by a singular gift of Divine Providence, the most longed-for day has now dawned when, under the patronage of the Virgin Mother of God, whose maternal dignity is commemorated on this feast, the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council solemnly begins here at the tomb of blessed Peter.

Truly, the very serious issues and questions that the human race needs to resolve have not changed after almost twenty centuries. Indeed, Christ Jesus always holds the central place in history and life. People either adhere to him and his Church, and so enjoy the goods of light, sweetness, right order and peace; or else they live without him or act against him and deliberately remain outside the Church. And so they cause confusion among themselves, bitterness in human relationships, and the imminent danger of bloody wars.

At the inauguration of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, it is evident, as always, that the truth of the Lord will remain for ever. Indeed, as one age gives way to another, we see that uncertain human opinions take over one from another; and often errors vanish as soon as they are born, like mist dispersed by the sun.

The Church has never failed to oppose these errors, and has even condemned them often, indeed with the greatest severity. But at the present time the Spouse of Christ is pleased to apply the medicine of mercy, rather than take up the weapons of severity. She judges it prudent to meet the needs of today by demonstrating more amply the power of her teaching, rather than by condemning. It is not that there is any lack of false doctrines, opinions, and dangers to be guarded against and eliminated; but these are all so openly in conflict with the right principles of honesty and have produced such deadly fruits, that today people seem to have begun to condemn them on their own account, even by naming those ways of living which despise God and his laws or place too much confidence in technological progress and a well-being based solely on the comforts of life. They understand more and more the dignity of the human person and that the need to perfect it is a matter of great importance and very difficult to accomplish. And what is most important, they have at last learned by experience that force exerted on others, the power of arms and political domination are of no use at all in finding a happy resolution to the grave issues which afflict them.

In these circumstances, the Catholic Church, as she raises the torch of religious truth through this Ecumenical Council, wishes to show herself a most loving mother of all, benign, patient, and moved with mercy and goodness towards the children separated from her. To the human race, laboring under so many difficulties, she says, as Peter once said to the poor man who had asked him for alms, I do not have silver and gold, but what I have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, arise and walk. That is to say, the Church does not offer to the people of our time riches that perish, nor does she promise them mere earthly happiness, but she imparts the goods of heavenly grace, which, since they raise people to the dignity of the children of God, are powerful safeguards and aids to making their life more human. She opens the springs of her life-giving doctrine, by which people, illumined by the light of Christ, can understand in the depths of their heart what they really are, how excellent is the dignity they possess, and what end they should pursue. Finally, through her children, she extends everywhere the bounds of Christian charity: nothing is more suited to eliminating the seeds of discord, nothing is more effective in promoting harmony, a just peace, and the fraternal unity of all. 

Responsory
Cf. Matthew 16:18; Psalm 48:9

Jesus said to Simon: I say to you that you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
— and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
God has established it for ever.
— And the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

Prayer

Almighty ever-living God,
who in Pope Saint John the Twenty-Third
have given a living example of Christ, the Good Shepherd,
to shine throughout the whole world,
grant us, we pray,
that, through his intercession,
we may joyfully pour out
an abundance of Christian charity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

The English translation of Liturgical Texts for Saint John XXIII © 2017 International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.



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