Pope John XXIII


Pope John XXIII


Photographer Yousuf Karsh had been commissioned to take an official portrait of the pope. He was accompanied to the Vatican by Bishop Fulton Sheen. Pope John watched uneasily as Karsh set up his equipment. Turning to Sheen, he remarked with a sigh, “God knew seventy-seven years ago that someday I would be pope. Why couldn’t he have made me a little more photogenic!”


Men are like wine — some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.

~St. John XXIII
Biographical Note: 

Pope St. John XXIII (Angelo Roncalli) was a popular and innovative leader of the Roman Catholic Church. At the death of Pius XII he was elected Pope on 28 October 1958, taking the name John XXIII. During his pontificate, which lasted less than five years, he instigated a number of reforms and worked tirelessly for Church unity and reconciliation between world powers. Pope St. John Paul II beatified him in 2000, and Pope Francis canonized him in 2014.

More Information: 

Read a brief biography of this popular pope. And find out more about John XXIII on the Vatican website.