7 Quick Takes: The Bl. Pope John XXIII Edition

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Join me and a lovely bunch of coconuts for 7QT over at Conversion Diary, hosted by Jennifer!

It’s October 11, the feast of Blessed Pope John XXIII!

“I shoulda had a V8!”

Most folks love John XXII because he started the Second Vatican Council or for his encyclicals.  I love this guy because he was hilarious.  I really do think that genuine, non-destructive humor only comes from the most humble of souls.  If you Google pictures of John XXII, you’ll see him encrusted in stoles and crowns and papal jewels… but if you look at his face, he almost always has this tiny, wry smile.  His attire says, “I’m the pope.”  His eyes say, “Isn’t that ridiculous?”

In our current day and age, the secular world is hailing Pope Francis for not wearing the red shoes, moving out of the papal apartments and so on, because to them that’s humble.  Now, nothing against Pope Francis here, but I also see the humility in wearing the heavy jewels, the heavy crown, and the blood-red shoes.  Being the pope is a weight, man, one that (almost) all of them died wearing.  John XXIII lived that weight, and he lived it for love of Christ and love of us.

But nothing helps us carry the weight of our world better than humor does.  So, in honor of this feast day, I’m going to post seven of my favorite John XXIII quotes, most of which will make you giggle.


“Anybody can become pope.  The proof of this is that I have become one.”


“The feelings of my smallness and nothingness have always kept me good company.”


“Here I am at the end of the road and the top of the heap.”


“A peaceful man does more good than a learned one.”


“Italians come to ruin most generally in three ways:  women, gambling, and farming.  My family chose the slowest one.”


“It often happens that I wake up at night and begin to think about a serious problem and decide I must tell the pope about it.  Then I wake up completely and remember that I’m the pope.  “


“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”


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