Such was not to be the case, and John XXIII, practically off the bat, called for the first major Council in years, which led to a startling number of reforms whose impact is felt to this day, fifty years after his death.
Let us pray. Lord of all truth and peace, you raised up your bishop John to be servant of the servants of God and gave him wisdom to call for the work of renewing your Church: Grant that, following his example, we may reach out to other Christians to clasp them with the love of your Son, and labor throughout the nations of the world to kindle a desire for justice and peace; through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The icon in watercolor pencil is an attempt to capture his generosity of spirit, with the suggestion he is about to break into a smile and give a little wave of benediction. We need more church leaders like "Good Pope John."
Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG