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John XXIII: the Pope who dodged police to walk outside the Vatican

2014-04-06

Guido Gusso was the butler for the Msgr. Angelo Roncalli, the first as Patriarch of Venice, then in Rome as Pope. In those years, they shared many stories and anecdotes.

GUIDO GUSSO 
Butler, John XXIII
"When I would call him 'Your Holiness, Your Holiness,' he would say, 'Pretend as if we're still in Venice. At best, you can call me 'Holiness,' but don't kneel or things like that.'”

Guido Gusso said that when the Pope tired of walking around the Vatican Gardens, they would come up with ways to dodge Vatican police and leave the walled city.

GUIDO GUSSO 
Butler, John XXIII
"In my car, we left twice. We went to the south, to see the works at Lake Albano. But in his car, we went to Patroni del Vivaro, and then they reported me. They read the complaint against me, and the Pope began to laugh, happy that we had done it.”

With many good memories in mind, Guido Gusso admitted that he sees a similar personality within Pope Francis.

GUIDO GUSSO 
Butler, John XXIII
"He has this kindness. This Pope is like John. He's very close to the poor, to the humble. He gives a lot of value to people in need.”

It will be Pope Francis who will canonize John XXIII, also known as the Good Pope, on April 27. But, for Guido Gusso, the Good Pope has been as saint for a very long time.


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