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Memorial of Saint Pope John XXIII

Saint Pope John XXIII – 11th October

To-day we celebrate the Memorial of Saint Pope John XIII, to-day too is the Sixtieth Anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, a momentous day in the life of the modern Church. Pope Francis described the Council in this way:

Quite simply, the Council had entered into our way of being Christians and of being church, and throughout my life, my intuitions, perceptions and spirituality were simply generated by the suggestions of the doctrine of Vatican II.

In recent times he has spoken repeated of the need these many years later still to make concrete the Council’s vision of the Church as the community where all the baptised are empowered to take their responsibility for going out to share the Gospel with the world, especially with those who are excluded or tossed aside by civil society.

In Evangelii Gaudium (Apostolic Exhortation ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ N.38), P.Francis said one of the “pastoral consequences” of the Council’s teaching was a “fitting sense of proportion” in Church teaching and preaching.

He said in 2013, “Vatican II was a re-reading of the Gospel in light of contemporary culture” and produced a renewal movement that simply comes from the same Gospel. Its fruits are enormous.” The dynamic of reading the Gospel, actualising its message for to-day – which was typical of Vatican II – is absolutely irreversible,”

As we draw upon the fullness of your grace,

we pray, O Lord, that your faithful,

who by your will are engaged in the things of this world,

may be strengthened by the power of the Eucharistic Banquet,

to be tireless witnesses to the truth of the Gospel

and may ever make your Church present and active

amid the affairs of this age.

Through Christ our Lord.


(Prayer after Communion. Mass for the Laity. Roman Missal)

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