New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1965. Limited edition. Octavo, original three-quarter red morocco, gilt spine with papal arms, marbled boards, red endpapers, top-edge gilt, glassine wrapper, original paper slipcase. Glassine wrapper torn, original slipcase lightly worn at the corners, else Fine. Item #1325
"THE HUMBLE YOUNG PRIEST OF LONG AGO HAS BEEN PLACED IN THE CHAIR OF ST. MARK"
Deluxe limited edition—one of only 500 copies—of the first American edition collecting the diary, prayers, and other unpublished writings of Pope John XXIII. The fruits of "more than half a century of living pen in hand." Now uncommon in the original gilt leather binding complete with the original slipcase. A splendid example of the deluxe limited edition.
Illustrated throughout with a frontispiece portrait and 44 additional black-and-white photographs and manuscript facsimiles, this volume presents John XXIII’s journal, first begun in 1895 while Angelo Roncalli was a seminary student. "He was faithful to his diary all his life...Shortly after he died portions of it were published entitled, in the English-language edition, The Journal of a Soul. This is the first time in history, if we make a very qualified exception for the diary of Pius II in the fifteenth century, that a Pope has left us such a record of his thoughts, reactions, and spiritual values. The diary is an incomparable help in understanding this complex, yet also simple man" (John O'Malley).. A contemporary review described Journal of a Soul as "Indispensable for those who would understand the mind which originated the updating of the Roman Catholic Church" (New York Times).
Arranged chronologically, the previously unpublished prayers and meditations includes O Holy Father Pius X (1954), a prayer for the 50th anniversary of John's ordination: "On the day of my first Mass your hands were laid on my head...as you passed by in the Vatican. The humble young priest of long ago has been placed in the Chair of St. Mark, where you, too, presided with such splendour of doctrine, virtue, and example. O Holy Father Pius X, I put my trust in you." Giuseppe Sarto was Roncalli's predecessor as Patriarch of Venice and Pope (and Saint). This is Copy #18, numbered in ink on the limitation page, of only 500 copies printed. First published in Italian in 1964, this American edition (more commonly seen in a dust jacket) was preceded by the British edition a month earlier. Approbations. O'Malley. A History of the Popes: From Peter to the Present.