Friday 24 August 2018

John XXIII The Universal Parish Priest - Josephine Robinson - CTS Biographies

John XXIII The Universal Parish Priest
CTS Biographies
Josephine Robinson
Catholic Truth Society

ISBN 9781860824234
eISBN 9781784694166

I have had an affinity for Pope John XXIII, now Saint pope Join XXIII since I was young. Some of my earliest memories are from attending a primary school named after this Pope. While reading other books in the CTS Biographies Series that were on popes I came across this one and immediately picked up the eBook version. Other books on popes in this series I have read include: Pius XII, Benedict XVI,  Paul VI, and now this volume. Though I should admit I already have three others on order. The description of this book is:

"Angelo Roncalli, intelligent, modest, joyful and from the humblest of origins, became Pope aged 78. Yet his short papacy (1958-1963) inaugurated the most significant event in Church life for centuries: the Vatican Council II. The moving spiritual journey told here - his ambitions and failures, his family and the years overseas as a papal representative - reveal the gentle heart of a true pastor."

And the sections in the book are:

Early Life
The seminarian
To Rome
Ordination to the priesthood
Don Roncalli, Priest
St Charles Borromeo
Apostolic visitor to Bulgaria
Apostolic Delegate in Istanbul
Nuncio to France
Patriarch of Venice
The Universal Catholic Priest
Papal election
The great plan
Mater et Magistra
Global anxieties
The Council opens - October 11th, 1962
The Cold War intervenes
The Council gets down to work
Contacts with the Soviet Union
Pacem in Terris
The Pope faces death

Prior to reading this book, I have read another biography of this saint, and also a few books by John XXIII himself. I have also recently watched a wonderful film about his life. But this little volume is now my favorite. I was reading this, and my son who is 10 started asking some questions, so after I finished reading it I went back and am now rereading it with him. This book is an easy read. It does an excellent job of portraying the life of a simple farmer who became pope by following God, and always saying yes, when God led him. It is honest about some of his disappointments.  We are told:

"In 1933, he wrote in his Journal, 'My prolonged mission ... in this country often causes me acute and intimate suffering. But I try not to show this; I bear and will bear everything willingly, even joyfully for the love of Jesus in order to resemble him as closely as I can. ... these people so simple and good, but also so unfortunate!' The promises that his time there would be short were not fulfilled."

And I believe that is the great witness of this man, this pope, this saint. That we bear everything willingly and with joy. That we strive to live as Jesus, and that we live for others. This biography will encourage you in your faith and challenge you. It is another great read from CTS and one of the best in the CTS Biographies Series.  

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Other CTS Biographies of Popes:
Pius XII - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky
Paul VI - Anthony Symondson
John XXIII The Universal Parish Priest - Josephine Robinson

John Paul I - Stephen Dean
John Paul II The Road to Sainthood - Jim Gallagher
Benedict XVI - Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky
Pope Francis - Dushan Croos

Other books about Pope John XXIII:
Pope John XXIII: The Good Pope - Wyatt North

No comments: