Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Il Buon Papa," 50 Years On

A half-century ago today, white smoke pouring from the Sistine Chapel announced a new Pope... the most surprising choice of all, who quickly became the most beloved... the elderly, "transitional" figure who ended up being the most transformative of all.

To mark the milestone, a treat from the archives -- Fulton Sheen on John XXIII...

(Speaking of Sheen, a non-Catholic TV reporter recently recounted meeting The Great One, terming the experience a "fleeting encounter with a mystery that I'll never comprehend.")

...and the "noble simplicity" of Papa Roncalli's coronation:

SVILUPPO: Vatican Radio airs a tribute, including audio from Election Day 1958...

...and tonight -- at the close of a St Peter's Mass celebrated by his Secretary of State -- B16 made an appearance in the basilica to pray at his predecessor's tomb.

PHOTO: Reuters