Apr 21, 2014
John XXIII's political engagement as well as his invocation of the Second Vatican Council shows how he fits perfectly in an ongoing movement of his predecessor, Pius XII and one of his successors, John Paul II – the latter being canonized on the same day as him.
Although many cardinals and officials understood John XXIII to be a Pope of transition, his decisions during his pontificate would prove them wrong.
In his early life, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli served as a nuncio in France and as the Vatican’s delegate to Bulgaria and Greece. He was appointed a cardinal by Pope Pius XII in 1953, and was nominated Patriarch of Venice. His papacy began with his election on Oct. 28, 1958 at the age of 76.
All throughout his career he held good relations with politicians, both Catholic and secular. This is illustrated for example, by the fact that Roncalli received his red Biretta as a symbolic gesture from Vincent Auriol, French president from 1947-1954, during an audience.