The 28th of October 1958 when he was 77, as a big surprise, He was elected Pope and took the name of his father, of the patron of his birth-place and of the evangelist of the charity: John. He began a new way of doing the Pope, moved by his faith and by his tender character.
After nearly two months since his election he gave the example of practising the piety: on Christmas day he visited the patients at the roman Holy Spirit and Child Jesus hospitals (ospedali "Santo Spirito" and “Bambino Gesù” in italian), and the following day he went to see the prisoners of the roman jail “Regina Coeli”.
Three months later, the 25th of January 1959 in Saint Paul’s Cathedral in Rome he announced the second Vatican council, the first synod of the roman diocese and the revision of the Canon Law. During his pontificate, in three consistories, he appointed 37 new cardinals, among them, for the first time, a Tanzanian one, a Japanese one, a Pilipino one and a Mexican one. He was the first Pope, after the 1870, who implemented his ministry as a Bishop of Rome going out of the Vatican, personally to see the parish-churches.