Pope John XXIII: The Man Who Loved All People - School

In elementary school, Angelo showed no signs of being a scholar. Starting at age six, he walked a mile barefoot to school. There was only one teacher for three classes of rowdy boys, and anyone who misbehaved got their ears boxed.  Angelo received his share of this punishment; he preferred to play instead of learning.

But Angelo loved to read. In three years he had read every book in the small school library. His parents decided he might do better if he attended a Catholic school that was over the mountain – three miles away. The added walked each day took time away from Angelo’s chores and study time, and he subsequently failed math and did average or below average in all his other classes.  But he kept reading everything he could find. Angelo’s teacher sent home a note complaining that he was doing very poorly, but Angelo decided not to deliver the note to his parents. A week later he was called to the headmaster’s office, and Angelo was certain he was in serious trouble.

“Angelo,” said the headmaster, “your grades are not good.”

“No sir,” said the boy.

“But your teacher says you are very bright and we think you have promise.  I have arranged for you to have a scholarship to the Catholic seminary in Bergamo.”

This seminary was a well-known high school and Angelo was so excited that he rushed home to tell his parents. But his family was very poor and could not afford his lodging at the seminary; his mother broke into tears as she told him he could not go. Then, a relative of a family friend heard about this problem and he arranged for Angelo’s expenses to be paid.

Original Release: Sep 19, 2016

Updated Last Revision: Nov 24, 2016

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"School" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 19, 2016. Feb 28, 2020.
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