Pope Saint John XXIII

Pope Saint John XXIII was the 261st pope of the Catholic Church. John XXIII was pope from 1958-1963 and is most remembered for having called the Second Vatican Council and setting the Church to a process he described with the Italian term “Aggiornamento” or bringing up to date. He said, “I want to open up the windows of the church, so that we can see out and the people can see in.”

He reigned as pope for less than half a decade, and did not see the Second Vatican Council’s completion, but the council he shepherded has certainly transformed the Church of today. His feast day is celebrated on October 11, the day the first session of the Second Vatican Council began. He was beatified in 2000, and Pope Francis canonized him in 2014.

Two of the most-loved leaders of the Catholic Church, Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, were raised to sainthood together in a joint canonization ceremony -- the first such ceremony in the church's history.  The joint canonization was held on April 27, 2014.