Pope John XXIII Community made a pilgrimage to Under the Mountain of the “Good Pope” on May 20 and it was a plunge into the path of peace traced by this man, a farmer who was born in this little town of Bergamo, the fourth of thirteen children. As a child, he used to look at his pastor out the window, as the letter went to give communion to the sick, after Mass, even when it was snowing: as a Pope, by the name of John XXIII, he was to pray the Angelus every Sunday and greet everyone with a smile. A simple, humble man, with his heart in his family, but also a citizen of the world, he was sent to Bulgaria to walk with the Christian Orthodox brothers, then to Turkey to dialogue with the Islamic world and to the laic France, where he managed to win over everyone’s love, focusing on what unites us rather than on what divides us.
Easy-going, a little clumsy, considered to be a transitional pope, he wrote: “In my nocturnal conversations I have always the crucified Jesus before my eyes, with open arms to receive everyone.” He managed to save thousands of people condemned to death by the Nazis, knowing that “this is the hour of great sacrifice. In the sacrifice of each one of us lies the mystery of peace that the world is waiting for, and we invoke this peace”.
His spiritual testament, Pacem in Terris, written in April 1963, a few months before his death, after opening the Second Vatican Council. It is a masterpiece of the Holy Spirit that successive popes have been implementing till present times, with Pope Francis. It emphasizes that everyone has the right to exist and to a decent standard of living in terms of nutrition, clothing, housing, medical care, and necessary social services. The right to worship God according to the dictates of an upright conscience. The right to emigration and immigration. That authority cannot serve the interest of one or a few people, but must aim to the true benefit of the common good. You need to know to read the signs of the times in truth and justice. That nothing is lost in peace and everything can be lost in war.
He also insists that peace can be built with the duty to participate in public affairs with competence, combining spiritual values and life for a full development of the person in training, with constant commitment. He finishes with the following words: “All men of good will have an immense task: to reconstruct the relations of coexistence in truth, justice, love and freedom.” He asks the good Lord to “enlighten the minds of our rulers, to make them defend the great gift of peace.” Now it is up to us, it is time for responsibility.
Taken from Always