Saint John XXIII, canonised on 27 April by Pope Francis, was a devoted member of the Third Order of St Francis, now known as the Secular Franciscans. His cause was promoted by the Postulator General of our Order, and his canonisation is a special source of joy for the whole Franciscan Family.
Good Pope John had a Franciscan heart, trusting with child-like confidence in God’s goodness and grace at work in the world and in the Church. His loving simplicity and fraternal spirit won the affection of all.
Writing, before he became Pope, he reflected on his ‘Franciscan calling’ and on his joy in meeting the ‘children of St Francis’ in many places throughout the world.
“I love St. Francis and his sons from my childhood. For fourteen years I have been a Franciscan tertiary, when I received the sacred tonsure. I took the way of the secular clergy, but St. Francis was the most familiar of my Saints, and I was in good company with other saints who were his friends. Oh! What a comfort to my spirit when, in my exploration around the globe, everywhere I met Francis in the homes of his children.
So, in Europe and in the land of Asia and Africa. I like the memories of his passing and the churches and altars erected in his honor; but most of all I like his children, humble, talented, workers, peaceful and joyful, engaged in the works of peace and goodness, valid in my anxious pastoral activity.”
St. John XXIII, January 26, 1955
Good Saint John – Pray for us!