Pope John XXIII dies

On 23 September, 1962, Pope John XXIII was first diagnosed with gastric carcinoma.

The diagnosis, which was kept from the public, followed nearly eight months of occasional stomach hemorrhages, and reduced the pontiff's appearances. Looking pale and drawn during these events, he gave a hint to his ultimate fate in April 1963, when he said to visitors, "That which happens to all men perhaps will happen soon to the Pope who speaks to you today."
On 11 May, 1963, the Italian president Antonio Segni awarded Pope John XXIII the Balzan Prize for his engagement for peace. It was the Pope's last public appearance.
On 25 May, 1963, the Pope suffered another hemorrhage and required blood transfusions, but the cancer had perforated the stomach wall and peritonitis soon set in. By 31 May, it had become clear that the cancer had overcome the resistance of Pope John. "At 11 A.M. Petrus Canisius Van Lierde as Papal Sacristan was at the bedside of the dying pope, ready to anoint him. The Pope began to speak for a very last time: “I had the great grace to be born into a Christian family, modest and poor, but with the fear of the Lord. …My time on earth is drawing to a close. But Christ lives on and continues his work in the Church. Souls, souls, Ut omnes unum sint, [7] Van Lierde then anointed his eyes, ears, mouth, hands and feet. Overcome by emotion, he forgot the right order of anointing. Pope John gently helped him. Then the Pope bid him and all the other bystanders a last farewell." [8] His last words, according to Jean Guitton, the only lay person to serve as a peritus at the Second Vatican Council were "Stop the council, stop the council!"[citation needed]
The Pope died 7:49 p.m. (local time) of peritonitis due to a perforated stomach cancer on 3 June at the age of 81. He was buried on 6 June, ending a reign of four years, seven months.
On 3 December, 1963, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson posthumously awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian award, in recognition of the good relationship between Pope John and the United States.

On November 27, 1961, he suffered a massive intestinal hemorrhage. The Vatican press office issued a report that he had a bad cold; rumours flew around Rome that he was already dead. But he rallied, and his tough peasant constitution enabled him to survive another six months. Pope John XXIII died June 3, 1963. He was succeeded by Cardinal Montini, who took the name Paul VI and supervised the completion of the Second Vatican Council, in 1965.

A leading cardinal present when the coffin of John XXIII was opened after 38 years said recently the Pope looked as if he had 'died yesterday'.

(The Tablet, 14 April 2001) The remains of the Pope, who reigned from 1958 to 1963 and called the Second Vatican Council, were examined in January, when a group of high-ranking Vatican officials gathered before his coffin in the caves under St Peter’s Basilica. In order to afford better access to pilgrims wanting to pray at his tomb, the body of John XXIII is in the process of being removed to a site close to the main altar in the basilica itself. The inspection was a formality, to comply with Vatican regulations.

When they opened the coffin, bishops, medical staff and workmen were astonished to find the Pope’s face still intact. His body – clad in white robes, with red silk gloves and a velvet cap – also showed no signs of decay, journalists were told on 27 March.

After John’s death, technicians at Rome’s Institute of Legal Medicine injected formaldehyde, a preservative, into his body to allow it to be displayed in public before burial, as has been the custom with popes since the 1950s.

Cardinal Virgilio Noe, who is in charge of St Peter’s Basilica, told journalists: “It was as if he died yesterday. The serenity he had in life, he took with him to his death and he still had it 38 years later.”

Medical experts said the phenomenon was rare but not unheard of. They pointed to the lack of oxygen, the initial treatment of the body with formaldehyde, and the enclosure of the corpse inside three coffins, creating a vacuum.

Pope John XXIII (Latin: Ioannes PP. XXIII; Italian: Giovanni XXIII), born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (November 25, 1881 – June 3, 1963), was elected as the 261st Pope of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City on October 28, 1958. He called the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) but did not live to see it to completion, dying on June 3, 1963, two months after the completion of his final encyclical, Pacem in Terris. He was beatified on September 3, 2000, along with Pope Pius IX, the first popes since Pope St. Pius X to receive this honour.