ROME, DEC. 18, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The diaries of the man who became Pope John XXIII, starting with his experiences at seminary as a 14-year-old youth, have been collected in a 10-volume set.
The Institute of Religious Studies of Bologna presented Tuesday the writings of John XXIII, titled “Diaries of Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli-John XXIII.” The diaries are only available in Italian.
The presentation celebrated this year’s anniversary of 50 years since John XXIII’s election to the pontificate, Oct. 28, 1958.
The first volume contains works of young Angelo at age 14, in which he recounts his experiences as a seminarian. The last volume presents the testimonies of the Pontiff in 1963, the year of his death, when he was overseeing the recently launched Second Vatican Council.
In a message to the editors, Italian president Giorgio Napolitano said: “The intense pontificate of John XXIII is indissolubly linked to the season of dialogue […] that coincided with another ecumenical moment of deepening and renewal in Vatican II in a sure sign of attention to the problems of peace, liberty and the promotion of the dignity of the human being.
“The publication of the diaries confirms the current value of the magisterium of Pope John and of the profound influence that he had not only in the ecclesiastical community but also in the lay world.”
Cardinal Roberto Tucci, former director of Vatican Radio, who participated in the preparation of Vatican II, said that the diaries give a window into the life of prayer led by the Holy Father.
And Cardinal Francesco Marchisano, retired archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, who knew John XXIII personally and described him as a “marvelous person” of “great humanity,” said the diaries are an “enormous contribution [because] they have great novelties and details” about the life of the Good Pope.