St John XXIII on the Priesthood.

To Our Venerable Brethren, the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops, and other Local Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See.

Venerable Brethren, Health and Apostolic Benediction.

When We think of the first days of Our priesthood, which were so full of joyous consolations, We are reminded of one event that moved Us to the very depths of Our soul: the sacred ceremonies that were carried out so majestically in the Basilica of St. Peter’s on January 8, 1905, when John Mary Baptist Vianney, a very humble French priest, was enrolled in the lists of the Blessed in Heaven. Our own ordination to the priesthood had taken place a few short months before, and it filled Us with wonder to see the delight of Our predecessor of happy memory, St. Pius X (who had once been the parish priest of the town of Salzano), as he offered this wonderful model of priestly virtues to all those entrusted with the care of souls, for their imitation. Now as We look back over the span of so many years, We never stop giving thanks to Our Redeemer for this wonderful blessing, which marked the beginning of Our priestly ministry and served as an effective heavenly incentive to virtue.

Today’s Gospel Reading.

Then he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.  And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,  but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land,beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them.  And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.  But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out for fear.  But immediately he spoke to them, saying, “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.”

 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water.”  He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus;  but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”  Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?”  And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”