Category Archives: St. John XXIII

20140728 Father Roncalli served selflessly 無私的服務

Father Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (now Pope St. John XXIII) was called to military service in 1915.
On May 23, 1915, he wrote, “Tomorrow I leave to take up my military service in the Medical Corps. Where will they send me? To the front perhaps? Shall I ever return to Bergamo, or has the Lord decreed that my last hour shall be on the battlefield? I know nothing; all I want is the will of God in all things and at all times, and to work for his glory in total self-sacrifice.
“In this way, and in this way only, can I be true to my vocation and show in my actions my real love for my country and the souls of my fellows. My spirit is willing and cheerful. Lord Jesus, keep me always so; Mary, my kind Mother, help me ‘that in all things Christ may be glorified.'”
Father Roncalli served in the hospitals of Bergamo. He was discharged from military service on Dec. 10, 1918.

Spiritual director
From 1918 to 1920, Father Roncalli was the spiritual director of the seminary at Bergamo. In November 1918 he founded the Students’ Hostel.
During a retreat in 1919 he wrote, “To succeed in my apostolate I will recognize no other school than that of the divine Heart of Jesus: ‘Learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart.’ Experience also has confirmed the supreme wisdom of this method, which brings real success.”
“I shall love my young students as a mother her sons, but always in the Lord and with the intention of bringing them up as worthy sons of the Church and, if I can, as future generous apostles of truth and goodness; and at the same time I shall be cherishing in them the best hopes of our families and of our country.”

Propaganda Fide
On Jan. 18, 1921, Father Roncalli began to work at Propaganda Fide (the Propagation of the Faith) in Rome.
Three years later he wrote, “Today, 18 January, the Feast of St. Peter’s Chair, it is three years since I began, under obedience, my work as President for Italy of the Propagation of the Faith in the World. You have always been with me, O Lord Jesus, and good and merciful: ‘Thy decrees are very sure.’
“To my sorrow, I left behind in Bergamo what I loved so much: the seminary, where the bishop had appointed my most unworthy self spiritual director, and the students’ hostel, the darling of my heart. I have thrown myself, heart and soul, into my new work.
“Here I must and will stay, without a thought, a glance, or a desire for anything else, especially as the Lord gives me indescribable happiness here.”
Here is the daily routine of Father Roncalli: “I fix the following rules as fundamental for the reorganization of my life: rising at 6 o’clock and saying my prayers in my room; from 7 to 8, work at my desk. From 8 to 9:30, Holy Mass and prayers (meditation, etc.).
“Less time to be spent after dinner and after supper in chatter. A short walk every day, and this to include a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. To bed at 11, never later.”
Father Roncalli’s writing reminds me of the words of Blessed John Henry Newman.
“If you ask me what you are to do in order to be perfect, I say, first, do not lie in bed beyond the time of rising; give your first thoughts to God; make a good visit to the Blessed Sacrament; say the Angelus devoutly; eat and drink to God’s glory; say the rosary well; be recollected; keep out bad thoughts; make your evening meditation well; examine yourself daily; go to bed in good time; and you are already perfect.”












20140721Priest seeks peace through obedience 聽命中獲得平安

The newly ordained Father Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (now Pope St. John XXIII) made these resolutions in November 1904:
* Throughout the morning, from the first moment I awaken until some time after Mass, I will apply myself exclusively to spiritual thoughts and occupations: vocal prayers, spiritual reading, meditation, the recital of the Divine Office, and so on.
* My most important duty will be to pay my daily visit to the Blessed Sacrament, with the greatest fervour. I owe everything to the Blessed Sacrament and to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, so I will have a most loving devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

Bishop’s secretary
On Jan. 8, 1905, St. John Vianney was beatified. That afternoon it was announced that the Vatican Canon, Msgr. Giacomo Maria Radini Tedeschi, would become the bishop of Bergamo.
Father Roncalli was appointed secretary to the new bishop, and held the post from 1905 to 1914. Bishop Radini died of cancer Aug. 22, 1914, during the early days of World War I. His last words to Father Roncalli were, “Angelo, pray for peace.”
During his years as secretary, Father Roncalli was involved in the academic works of teaching and editing. In October 1906 he began to teach Church history in the seminary. Later on he would also teach apologetics and patristics. In 1908 he began to edit in five volumes the acts of St. Charles Borromeo’s visitation during 1575 of the diocese of Bergamo.
Father Roncalli obediently carried out the numerous tasked entrusted to him. He was on the editorial staff of the official periodical of the Bishop and Diocesan Curia. He was the secretary of the 33rd Synod of the diocese in 1910. He became the president of the fifth division of Catholic Action. At the request of his bishop, Father Roncalli edited the collective letter of the Lombard episcopate in 1912.
In October 1912, during a retreat, Father Roncalli wrote, “I must not try to find or follow new ways of doing good. I live under obedience, and obedience has already overburdened me with so many occupations that my shoulders are sagging under the weight. But I am willing to bear this and other burdens, if the Lord so desires. My rest will be in heaven.
“These are the years for hard work. My bishop sets me an example, since he does more than I. I will be most careful never to waste a single moment.”
Father Roncalli also wrote, “I find it humiliating, but it is my duty to insist again on the resolutions already made about being absolutely faithful to my rule of life.
“Getting up at half past five, then meditation, the Bishop’s Mass, my Mass, thanksgiving, the hours; brief but frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament, Vespers after my brief siesta, a very devout recital of the rosary; after supper Matins and Lauds, without fail, and a rather longer visit to the Blessed Sacrament; some spiritual reading before falling asleep: these are the fundamental points: they are my lifeline.”

Tenth anniversary
On the 10th anniversary of his priestly ordination (Aug. 10, 1914), Father Roncalli wrote, “My dominant thought, in my joy at having accomplished 10 years as a priest, is this: I do not belong to myself, or to others; I belong to my God, for life and death.”
“I mean to preserve my peace of mind, which is my liberty. So I shall always remember those four things which Thomas a Kempis says bring great peace and true freedom:
* “Seek to do another’s will, rather than your own.
* “Choose always to have less rather than more.
* “Always take the lowest place, so as to be inferior to everyone.
* “Always desire and pray that the will of God may be wholly fulfilled in you.”



  • 每天清晨,自一覺醒來開始到舉行彌撒後,我要完全投入我的靈修與靈功之中:朗誦經文、閱讀聖書、默想、唸大日課經等。
  • 我每天最重要的本份是以最大熱誠朝拜聖體。我虧欠聖體及耶穌聖心實在太多了,我要以最大的愛情敬禮聖體。




1905年1月8日若翰.維雅納被宣為真福,同日下午,雅格.泰戴斯基蒙席被任命為貝加莫主教。龍嘉利神父被委任作新主教的秘書直至1914年。1914年第一次世界大戰爆發, 8月22日泰戴斯基主教因癌病去世,臨終前對龍嘉利神父說:「安哲路,為和平祈禱。」








龍嘉利續寫道:「我感到謙卑,但這是我的責任再去堅持忠於生活規律所定的志向。清晨五時半起床,默想,主教的彌撒,舉行自己的彌撒,謝恩,時辰誦禱,多次短暫朝拜聖體,小休午睡後唸晚課,熱心誦唸玫瑰經,晚餐後誦讀及晨禱,較長的朝拜聖體,睡覺前閱讀聖書。這些是要點 –––– 是我的命脈。」







  1. 尋找實行他人的意願,而非自己的。
  2. 滿於少、拒受多。
  3. 在人前甘於低下。
  4. 祈求並渴望天主的旨意完全在你內承行。」


20140714 ‘A priest forever’ 永恆司祭

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.”

First Mass
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。」








同日,龍嘉利獲得教宗聖庇約十世的特別接見。他向教宗坦述在聖伯多祿墓上首祭時的意願,聖庇約對他說:「做得好!做得好,我兒!… 我很高興聽到這些話。我會向我主祈求,特別降福你的意願,好讓你能作一個合祂心意的司鐸。我也祝福你其它的意向,和所有此刻因你喜慶的人。」



20140707 Reflections at retreats 避靜的自省

From 1901 to 1903 Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (the future St. John XXIII) studied at the Roman Seminary of the Apollinare. He did his military service, which he called the Babylonian Captivity, from November 1901 to November 1902.

Lifelong commitment
The year 1903 was an important one for Roncalli. He was ordained a subdeacon on April 11 and a deacon on Dec. 18.
On Jan. 1, 1903, Roncalli consecrated the year to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He wrote, “I have seen the first dawn of a new year. I welcome it in the name of the Lord and I consecrate it to the loving Heart of Christ, that for me it may be a year really full of good works, my year of salvation, the year in which I shall at last make myself holy. Jesus, I am yours once more and forever.”
Roncalli had a great love for the Pope. On March 3 he wrote, “A day of triumph! Long live the Holy Father! Today in St. Peter’s my heart was overcome in that immense sea of love for the Pope; the whole world was represented there.
“During the solemn Mass I could only reassert, over the tomb of the apostles, my living, burning faith and my determination to work to the limit of my strength in the service of Jesus Christ, the Church, and the Pope. Holy Father, I am all yours. I present arms! Bless me so that I may become holy, worthy to be your son.”
In those days, lifelong commitments to celibacy and to praying the divine office (Liturgy of the Hours) were made at the subdiaconate ordination.
During the retreat, April 1-10, 1903, before his subdiaconate ordination, Roncalli wrote, “The holiness of the saints does not depend on anything sensational but on little things which seem but trifles in the eyes of the world. In this respect, Jesus Christ, in the first 30 years of His life, offers me a whole series of shining examples.”
“My great book, from which henceforth I must learn with greater care and love the lessons of divine wisdom, is the crucifix. I must make a habit of judging all human concerns and knowledge in the light of the principles of this great book.”

Diaconate ordination
During the preparatory retreat for his ordination to the diaconate, Dec. 9-18, 1903, Roncalli contemplated the possibility of his soul falling into hell. He wrote, “Among the things I find impossible to conceive is this: the possibility of my soul one day falling into hell. I cannot think of this without being struck with terror.
“And yet there is a place there for me too. Were I to become lukewarm I should already be on the verge of the precipice; one sin could push me over, as might happen to any other poor sinner. Oh how wretched I am! This fear alone must keep me humble: I too might fall, and yet I hardly ever give it a thought.”
“My Lord, I say it once again: if only You will save me from that place, I am willing to do anything, even to let myself be trampled on like the dust of the high road. Burn me with the flame of Your love.”
Roncalli had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He desired to do everything in intimate union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
One of the first prayers that Roncalli had learned from his godfather was: “Sweet Heart of my Jesus, make me love You more and more.”
























20140630 Saintly teenage years 聖善青春年

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (the future Pope St. John XXIII) studied at the major seminary of Bergamo from 1895 to 1900.

‘Little Rules’
In 1895, the 14-year-old Angelo Roncalli received the confidential “Little Rules” from his spiritual director. In the seminary, spiritual directors discreetly communicated the “Little Rules” to the best seminarians. These seminarians formed the Sodality of the Annunciation of Mary Immaculate.
Roncalli copied the rules out by hand and kept them always by him. He constantly observed them, even when he was Pope.
The “Little Rules” prescribed the following daily exercises: Holy Mass, meditation for at least a quarter of an hour, spiritual reading, visit to the Blessed Sacrament, general examination of conscience in the evening, five decades of the rosary, and raising one’s thoughts to God with devout invocations.
Members of the Sodality fasted on Fridays and Saturdays in honour of the Passion of Christ and of Our Lady. They went to confession weekly and set aside one day each month to prepare themselves for a good death.
The “Little Rules” emphasized the importance of the principal feasts of Our Lady, the month of Mary, devotion to St. Joseph, one’s Guardian Angel, and St. Aloysius Gonzaga.
Here are some excerpts from the “Little Rules”:
— Correct one another’s faults, and let him who is corrected say three Hail Marys for his corrector.
— Evil companions must be shunned like vipers, especially those who criticize virtue, good men, and good examples, subjecting them to ridicule.
— Be very much on your guard against human respect. Do not refrain from doing good, or indulge in evil because of any human respect or consideration.
— To guard the virtue of purity you must have a great love for Mary most holy, and in her honour say three Hail Marys for yourself and your companions, offering them to her and begging her for this virtue.
— Your chief devotion will be to the Blessed Sacrament: therefore great recollection in church, especially when there is exposition. Receive the Blessed Sacrament as often as you can, with the best possible dispositions and devotion, and with a prolonged thanksgiving. Visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament frequently, rejoicing to keep Him company.
— Have a right intention in all things.
— Beware of idleness, which is the devil’s bait.

Solemn Promise
In February 1900, Angelo Roncalli made a retreat at the seminary, and on Feb. 27 he made a solemn promise to the Sacred Heart of Jesus not to commit any willful sin. Here is an excerpt from his prayer:
“During the holy Spiritual Exercises of this Year of Grace 1900, the 19th year of my age, and on this last day of the holy retreat (27 Feb.), while I am sacramentally united to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus through Holy Communion; in the presence of my most holy mother, Mary Immaculate; St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse and my chief protector; all the other saints; my special intercessors; my guardian angel; and all the court of heaven, I, the seminarist Angelo Giuseppe, a sinner, promise the most Sacred Heart, with all the solemnity and power this act of mine may have, always, today, and at all times, by the grace of God, to keep myself free from the slightest attachment to any voluntary venial sin.
“And since because of my weakness I cannot guarantee in the future to keep this promise by my own unaided effort, I place it in the hands of the angelic youth St. Aloysius Gonzaga, so pre-eminently free from all stain of sin, so pure in heart and mind.
“Choosing him for this purpose as my special intercessor and patron, I beg and implore him — he is so kind and loving — to deign to accept it, guard it, and by his prayers help me to keep it.”














  • 彼此幫助改正錯犯。能改正者為幫助自己改正的人唸三遍聖母經。
  • 避開那些批評修德、譏諷立善表的壞份子,遠離他們如遠離蛇蠍。
  • 提防過於取悅於人。千萬別因別人的原故而避免行善或沉溺於惡。
  • 依賴聖母保守潔德。為自己和同伴能堅守此貞潔之德,特別每天唸三遍聖母經。
  • 視敬禮聖體為首要敬禮。在聖堂要大大收歛心神,特別在明供聖體前。盡量熱心勤領聖體,並而長時間感謝聖體。多朝拜聖體,常樂於與耶穌聖體相伴。
  • 每事當有正確的意向。
  • 避免空閑時間,它是魔鬼的誘餌。





「1900年恩寵聖年,年十九歲,在退省最後的一天(2月27日),藉領聖體和耶穌聖心緊密結合。在無玷聖母、她的淨配聖若瑟 ––––  也是我的主保、其他聖人們、我的特別代禱者、我的護守天使、及一總天朝神聖面前,我、安哲路.若瑟修生,此時此日,誠心決志向至聖聖心承諾:以後要藉天主聖寵,斷絕對故意犯的小罪最微小的眷戀。我深知單靠自己的軟弱力量,不足徹底履行這承諾;所以,我把自己置於年青天使般的聖者 ––––  聖類斯.公撒格的手中,他是何等身心聖潔無瑕。我特意為此請他作我的中保和主保,祈求他憐愛垂允我、守護我,賴他的轉禱幫助我、保守我的潔德。」



20140623 Seminarian resolves to be holy 矢志成聖的修生

In the last 28 articles, since December, we have been looking at St. Francis de Sales’s An Introduction to the Devout Life. Those articles can be reviewed on my personal website:
Starting this week, we are going to be looking at the life of a new saint who was greatly influenced by the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales. This new saint, canonized on April 27, is Pope Saint John XXIII.
In 1903, the seminarian Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (the future John XXIII) wrote the following prophetic entry in his diary for the Feast of St. Francis de Sales:
“Today was a perfect feast; I spent it in the company of St. Francis de Sales, my gentlest of saints. What a magnificent figure of a man, priest, and bishop! If I were like him, I would not mind even if they made me Pope!
“I love to let my thoughts dwell on him, on his goodness and on his teaching. I have read his life so many times! His counsels are so acceptable to my heart. By the light of his example I feel more inclined towards humility, gentleness and calm.
“My life, so the Lord tells me, must be a perfect copy of that of St. Francis de Sales if I wish it to bear good fruit. Nothing extraordinary in me or in my behaviour, except my way of doing ordinary things: ‘all ordinary things but done in no ordinary way.’
“A great, a burning love for Jesus Christ and his Church: unalterable serenity of mind, wonderful gentleness with my fellow men, that is all.”

Spiritual journal
Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was born on November 25, 1881, in the tiny village of Sotto il Monte in Italy. He was baptized on the same day by the parish priest in the church of Santa Maria.
He received first Communion in 1888 at the young age of 7 and was confirmed the following year. From 1892 to 1895 he was a student at the minor seminary of Bergamo. He studied at the major seminary from 1895 to 1900. His dairy, Journal of a Soul, began in 1896 and finished in 1962, months before his death on June 3, 1963.
Regarding his spiritual diaries, St. John XXIII said to his secretary, “My soul is in these pages…. You may publish them after my death. They will do some good to souls who feel drawn toward the priesthood and more intimate union with God.”

Spiritual resolutions
As a major seminarian at Bergamo, Roncalli made resolutions during spiritual exercises. Here are some of the resolutions he made in 1896:
I resolve and promise never to approach the holy sacraments out of mere habit or with indifference, and never to spend less than a quarter of an hour in my preparation.
My sole object in studying will be to work for the greater glory of God, the honour of the Church, and the salvation of souls, and not for my own honour, not in order to be cleverer than all the others; and I will always remind myself that God will ask me to render an account of that talent also which I have wasted in merely acquiring glory for myself.
I promise and I vow to Our Lady, who will always be my dearest Mother, to guard myself most scrupulously as far as lies in my power from any thought or act to which I might give consent, which might cast so much as a shadow over the heavenly virtue of holy purity.
I will so behave that all my doings may be in accordance with the oft-repeated maxim of St. Ignatius Loyola: “To the greater glory of God.”













聖人領著教宗若望二十三世的身份,卒於1963年6月3日。臨終時告訴他的秘書說:「我的靈魂活在我的日記字行間 …,我死後你把它公開,估計能夠裨益有聖召和願意與天主親近的眾靈。」






  • 要用不少於十五分鐘來準備領受聖事,亦決不讓領受聖事的神功,變成公式化的習慣。
  • 努力學習的目的,並非在意個人的譽獎或超越別人,只為天主更大的光榮、教會的名聲、眾多靈魂的得救。要常提醒自己,如果稍有任何私譽的意圖,便是浪費天主的恩賜,並將要為此向天主交帳。
  • 答應及向最愛的聖母許諾,要盡最大的努力,謹慎地管束思行,捍衛神聖的貞潔之德。
  • 所有的言行,不斷地重複實現聖依納爵.羅耀拉的格言:「愈顯主榮」。