60 years ago, the Second Vatican Council began

60 years ago, the Second Vatican Council began

by Father Bernard Holzer, aa

We celebrate the 60th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council by Pope John XIII, whose feast is also celebrated today! I was 14 years old during this event!

I remember this assembly of nearly 2,400 bishops from 136 countries.

They had been summoned to allow the Church to make her “aggiornamento” – her conversion -in order to proclaim the Gospel in the modern world that was changing so rapidly.

The Council would take place over three years, in four sessions of three to four months. The first was held on October 11, 1962.

John XXIII died a few months before the opening of the second session, in June 1963. Paul VI succeeded him. The 21st Council in the history of the Church will end on December 8, 1965. It produced 16 texts, including four "constitutions", namely:

  • “Dei Verbum” on the importance of the Bible in the Church and in our lives;
  • Lumen Gentium”, on the Church People of God, where all are concerned;
  • “Sacrosanctum Concilium” on Liturgy, Mass and Prayer;
  • “Gaudium et Spes” on the Church in the world by paying attention to the "signs of the times"

In the coming days, let us reread and meditate on one of these texts that can be found on the website of the Holy See.

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