John Paul I known as The Smiling Pope or God’s Smile.
Pope francesco John Paul I beatified this Sunday in Romeknown as “the smiling pope”, who in 1978 occupied the throne of Peter for 33 days, in one of the shortest pontificates in history.
The beatification mass – the stage preceding the canonization that elevates a deceased Catholic faithful to the dignity of a saint – will take place in St. Peter’s Square.
the beatification it requires the recognition of a miracle. The one attributed to Albino Luciani is the healing in 2011 in Buenos Aires of an 11-year-old girl who was dying, but who recovered thanks to the prayers of a priest who invokes John Paul I. To be canonized, the Vatican must recognize a second miracle.
Albino Luciani, who took the name of John Paul when he was elected pope in August 1978 at the age of 65, was a popular figure and close to parishioners.
After Paul VI, he was the last Italian pope to date. He died of a heart attack only 33 days and 6 hours later.
Early in the morning of September 29, 1978, a nun discovered her lifeless body, sitting on the bed, with glasses and some leaves in her hands. An autopsy was not performed to confirm the cause of her death.
The announcement of his death was surrounded by inconsistencies and false information and even fueled the theory of a murder by poisoning to prevent him from putting order in the affairs of the Church and, in particular, the Vatican bank, where financial torts had been detected.
But this “conspiracy hypothesis” was mainly due to the Vatican’s “calamitous communication”, according to Christophe Henning, journalist and author of the book “Petite vie de Jean Paul Ier” (Short Life of John Paul I).
Like Henning, many specialists reject this hypothesis, considering that it is based more on a set of coincidences than on tangible elements.
Even the Italian journalist Stefania Falasca – who actively supports the canonization of John Paul I – denied these rumors in a book published in 2017 and preceded by Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See (number two of the Vatican).
During his short pontificate, the so-called “smiling Pope” officiated two masses, sent an “Urbi et Orbi” (radio) message, held four public audiences, five Angelus and nine speeches. In just over a month he brought a more direct style to the Holy See, but his simplicity did not please the Curia, the Vatican government.
Who was John Paul I
Albino Luciani was born in 1912 in northern Italy, into a very modest working-class family. He was a seminarian and earned his doctorate in theology. In 1969 Paul VI appointed him Patriarch of Venice and in 1973 he was elevated to Cardinal.
Considered a man of consensus, he achieved it during his short pontificate print a simpler style in the exercise of its missionwhile remaining isolated within the Curia, the Vatican government.
He defended the Church’s opposition to abortion and contraceptive methods, initiating an internal reform. Very sensitive to poverty, he also affirmed the importance of giving a “fair wage” to everyone.
With «great simplicity and strong pastoral fiber», John Paul I «humanized the office [papal] and simplified everything that was protocol, “Christophe Henning told AFP.
Sister Margarita Marín, who assisted John Paul I in the pontifical apartments, remembers a man “kind to everyone”.
“He treated his co-workers with great respect, apologizing for bothering them. I’ve never seen him get impatient with anyone,” the nun recalled at a press conference on Friday.
Among the recent popes, the Italians John XXIII (1958-1963) and Paul VI (1963-1978) and the Polish John Paul II (1978-2005) have been canonized.
With information from AFP.