Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (the future Pope St. John XXIII) was ordained a priest Aug. 10, 1904.
During his retreat in preparation, he reflected on detachment. He wrote that the saints “practised holy detachment: they were willing to listen to the voice of God, Who spoke to them as He speaks to me; they did not measure what they had to do by considering their pride, but cast themselves blindly into all that God wanted them to do.”
“Above all else, there was at that time ripening in my mind a lively desire and determination to annihilate the self completely in the presence of the Heart of Jesus, in order that when I had become quite stripped of all that was myself, my divine Master would find me more obedient to his commands and a worthier tool for doing some good, some great good in the Church, not in places and ways chosen by my pride, but in simple, blind abandonment to the will of my superiors.”
Day of ordination
During his ordination ceremony, Deacon Roncalli experienced the maternal love of Our Lady. He wrote, “When all was over and I raised my eyes, having sworn the oath of eternal fidelity to my superior, the bishop, I saw the blessed image of Our Lady to which I confess I had paid no attention before.
“She seemed to smile at me from the altar, and her look gave me a feeling of sweet peace in my soul and a generous and confident spirit, as if she were telling me she was pleased, and that she would always watch over me. In short she sent a gentle calm and peace into my soul which I shall never forget.”
His ordination day was very prayerful: “In the afternoon I was alone, alone with my God, Who had raised me so high, alone with my thoughts, my resolves, and the joys of my priesthood.
“I went out. Utterly absorbed in my Lord, as if there were no one else in Rome, I visited the churches to which I was most devoted, the altars of my most familiar saints, the images of Our Lady. They were very short visits. It seemed that evening as if I had something to say to all those holy ones, and as if every one of them had something to say to me. And indeed it was so.”
The next day, Father Roncalli celebrated his first Mass, in St. Peter’s Basilica. He wrote, “I said the votive Mass of St. Peter and St. Paul. Ah, the joys of that Mass!
“I remember that among the feelings with which my heart was overflowing the most powerful of all was a great love for the Church, for the cause of Christ, for the Pope, and a sense of total dedication to the service of Jesus and of the Church, and of an intention, indeed a sacred oath, of allegiance to the Chair of St. Peter and of unwearying work for souls.”
That same day, Father Roncalli was received in special audience by Pope St. Pius X. Father Roncalli told the Pope briefly of the intentions which he had offered during his first Mass over the tomb of St. Peter.
St. Pius X said, “Well done, well done, my boy…. This is what I like to hear, and I will ask the good Lord to grant a special blessing on these good intentions of yours, so that you may really be a priest after His own heart. I bless all your other intentions too, and all the people who are rejoicing at this time for your sake.”
On Aug. 15, the feast of the Assumption, Father Roncalli celebrated Mass in his home town, Sotto il Monte. He counted that day among the happiest of his life.
晉鐸聖儀期間，龍嘉利感到聖母對他的慈愛。他記述道：「當一切完成了，我已起誓對我長上主教效忠，我舉目看看聖母像 –––– 坦白說，先前我並沒有注意過 –––– 似乎她從祭台上向我微笑，使我的靈魂感到一陣甘飴，激起我的慷慨與信賴，聖母似乎告訴我她因我而喜樂，答應會看護著我。那陣的祥和，我永不忘記。」