A diverse offering twixt the interesting, the unusual, and the amusing.
Sunday, 28 January 2018
The Sunday Story: Pope John XXIII
Pope John was the first Vatican incumbent of whom I was properly aware. He was a world figure who seemed to be as much head of the Protestant church as that of Islam or Buddhism. He seemed to glean admiration from all religions, without prejudice from any direction.
I remember that I liked his face, and always tried to imagine him in a dark, wide lapeled, pin-striped suit, sucking on a fat cigar. He could just as easily have played the part of Mafia Godfather, as that of Moral Godfather. He had the right countenance for either rôle.
John got up to his popery between 1958 and 1963; the end of my time as a Prep' schoolboy, and for the first 3 years at my upper school.
Stories about this pleasant Pope are legendary, and most of them are probably also invented. I do, though, remember one tale that always comes to mind when I think of any Pope, but it was attributed to Johnny.
Apparently it was traditional for all Popes to eat alone, and our particular Pope John didn't like this one bit. His dining room looked out onto the Vatican gardens, and he decided, surreptitiously, to invite the gardener to dine with him.
It is said that they talked of football, women, hunting, and the day's news; anything but religion.
I think John may have been one of the wisest ever Popes. I think I would have enjoyed a plate of pasta in his company (which I would have prepared for us myself, of course).
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist, is that the optimist enjoys himself whilst waiting for the inevitable! I AM that optimist!
This is a daily, optimistic, 'photos and comments' blog. I make no judgements (only occasionally), just notes. If you wish to comment in any way at all, please feel free. Everything and everyone (except the obdurate and dictatorial) is very welcome.
I was born just south of London, but for the past 46 years I've lived in S W France. I am a painter by profession, and writer by desire. Lady Magnon and I live in an ancient cottage, in a tiny village, in perfectly tranquil countryside. We have a vegetable garden called 'Haddock's' (this may crop up from time to time), plenty of fruit trees, and a view that takes the breath away. I try to treat our planet with respect, and encourage others to do likewise (without preaching).
Contentment is a glass of red, a plate of charcuterie, and a slice of good country bread. Perfect!