JournalOfASoulOn 28 February 1963 Pope John XXIII spoke these word in a broadcast. On 1 March 1963 they were published in L’Osservatore Romano.

“O Lord Jesus, you who at the beginning of your public life withdrew into the desert, we beg you to teach all men that recollection which is the beginning of conversion and salvation.

It is Lent. O Lord do not let us turn to ‘broken cisterns’, that can hold no water (Jer. 2:13), nor imitate the unfaithful servant or the foolish virgins; do not let us be so blinded by the enjoyment of the good things of earth that our hearts become insensitive to the cry of the poor, of the sick, of orphan children and of those innumerable brothers of ours who still lack the necessary minimum to eat, to clothe their nakedness and to gather their family together under one roof.

You also, O Jesus, were immersed in the river Jordan, under the eyes of the crowd, although very few then were able to recognize you; and this mystery of tardy faith, or of indifference, prolonged through the centuries, is a source of grief for those who love you and have received the mission of making you known to the world.

O grant to the successors of your apostles and disciples and to all who call themselves after your Name and your Cross, to press on with the work of spreading the Gospel and bear witness to it in prayer, suffering and loving obedience to your will!”

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