Friday, October 08, 2004

The Opening of Vatican II, 42 Years Ago

Vatican II
On October 11, 1962, Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council with this prayer:

God grant that your labors and your work,
toward which the eyes of all peoples
and the hopes of the entire world are turned,
may abundantly fulfill the aspirations of all.
Almighty God!
In Thee we place all our confidence, not trusting in our own strength.
Look down benignly upon these pastors of Thy Church.
May the light of Thy supernal grace aid us
in taking decisions and in making laws.
Graciously hear the prayers which we pour forth to Thee
in unanimity of faith, of voice and of mind.
O Mary, Help of Christians, Help of Bishops,
of whose love we have recently had particular proof
in thy temple of Loreto,
where we venerated the mystery of the Incarnation,
dispose all things for a happy and propitious outcome and,
with thy spouse, St. Joseph, the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul,
St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist,
intercede for us to God.
To Jesus Christ, our most amiable Redeemer,
immortal King of peoples and of times,
be love, power and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

On his deathbed, John XXIII said:
It is not that the gospel has changed; it is that we have begun to understand it better. Those who have lived as long as I have…were enabled to compare different cultures and traditions, and know that the moment has come to discern the signs of the times, to seize the opportunity and to look far ahead.
Pope John XXIII died on June 3, 1963. Pope Paul VI continued the work of the council until its closing in 1966. Click here to read excerpts from John XXIII's opening address at Vatican II and some key dates from this historic council.

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