John XXIII: the speech to the moon above...

2012-10-16 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Veronica Scarisbrick brings you echoes from the era of the pontificate of Blessed John XXIII, the twentieth century Pope to inaugurate a less formal way of public speaking than was the custom at the time.
The story begins fifty years ago on the 11th of October 1962, at the end of the day marking the opening of the Second Vatican Council when Pope John XXIII appeared at the window of the Apostolic Palace in answer to the requests of the huge crowds that had gathered in the Square below, making a memorable impromptu speech.
Know as the Speech to the Moon, it lives on in people’s hearts and minds to this day and if you listen to this programme you can hear a Vatican Radio archive recording of that speech.
You can also hear Veronica Scarisbrick's guests sharing with you memories of that pontificate. Among them Jill Tyler, better known to our listeners as Jill Bevilacqua, who was in St Peter's Square when Blessed John XXIII made this speech.

Some of the other guests on this programme, include a member of the papal aristocracy, the late Cardinal Carlo Cardelli, the late Monsignor Carroll-Abbing who met Pope John XXIII on many an occasion and Rosminian Father John Charles-Roux who tells us about the years Angelo Roncalli spent as Apostolic nuncio in Paris.

Also in this programme, other recordings from our Vatican Radio archives including one in which Good Pope John as he was known, speaks in English, a language he never quite managed to master, despite valiant efforts!

Listen: