2013-06-02 13:18:40

Blessed John XXIII - Part 2: Pope of surprises...

(Vatican Radio) Blessed John XXIII, born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli died exactly 50 years ago on the 3rd of June 1963, two months after the completion of his well- known encyclical ‘Pacem in Terris’.

Pope John, now blessed, was elected to the See of Peter on the 28 October 1958 at the age of 77 and was considered by many to be a sort of caretaker Pope.

But as it happens he was a Pope of surprises and during his four and a half years as Roman Pontiff launched the Catholic Church into one of the most momentous epochs by calling the Second Vatican Council.

In a few moments we'll be bringing you the second in a series of programmes leading up to this anniversary. Sharing with you the personal impressions of some of those to witness that era. As well as recordings of his voice from our very own Vatican Radio archives and indeed the sound of the announcement of his election.

A programme produced by Veronica Scarisbrick.

Listen: RealAudioMP3

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