From the bestselling author of How the Irish Saved Civilization.
Elected to the papacy at the age of 76, Pope John XXIII was to have a brief but important reign. Although he had a doctorate in theology, his gifts were pastoral—reaching out to the people of the Church. After his doctorate, he spent nine years working for the socially-minded bishop of Bergamo, acquiring a broad understanding of the problems of the working class. This sympathy for ordinary people was brought out in his papacy. Vatican II, which he convened, brought forth the idea of a church as a community, in which all God's people are a sign of redemption for the human race. Thomas Cahill, in his short biography, gives us the sense of enduring importance of John XXIII's idea.