A Fresh Look at St. John XXIII

John XXIII by Mickey McGrathI don’t often review books, but here’s another pleasant exception!

I recently received a copy Brother Mickey McGrath’s new book on St. John XXIII, entitled Good Saint John XXIII: Quotes & Quips from the Prophet of Peace (Princeton: Clear Faith Publishing, 2014).  Once again, Mickey’s art dazzles and explodes exuberantly from each page.  There’s a wonderful introduction by Father Jim Martin which sets the stage very well.  Jim makes the point that Mickey’s art is always joyful, and this is so true — and also appropriate for this particular subject.

St. John XXIII was fond of a saying he found in Teilhard’s work, that “joy is the infallible sign of God’s presence.”  Joy filled St. John’s approach to the papacy, even during the darkest days dealing with wars, brinkmanship, illness and frustration.  Mickey captures all of this in his book, filled not only with “quotes and quips” from St. John himself, but by Pope Francis, St. Francis de Sales, and others: all through the lens of the man still known to millions as the “Good Pope John.”

I often give retreats based on the spirituality of St. John, and I will certainly be making use of Brother Mickey’s beautiful work (with his prior permission of course!).  I would encourage everyone to get at least one copy, because they will make great gifts as well.

Thanks, Mickey, and God bless!

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