St John XXIII

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Blessed Pope John XXIIIWhen on October 20, 1958 the cardinals, assembled in conclave, elected Angelo Roncalli as pope many regarded him, because of his age and ambiguous reputation, as a transitional pope, little realizing that the pontificate of this man of 76 years would mark a turning point in history and initiate a new age for the Church. He took the name of John in honor of the precursor and the beloved disciple—but also because it was the name of a long line of popes whose pontificates had been short.

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