Beatification of John Paul I, a blessed precursor of the Franciscan style

Beatification of John Paul I, a blessed precursor of the Franciscan style

Who knows if, approaching the loggia shortly after his election on March 13, 2013, the pope francis did not think of its predecessor, John Paul I ? Like the pope with a smile, Jorge Mario Bergoglio struck, from his first appearance, with his simplicity. Just after their election, both confided their emotion during the conclave.

“I never suspected what was about to happentestified on August 26, 1978 Albino Luciani. No sooner had danger dawned on me than my neighbors whispered words of comfort to me. » While Francis recounted: “At the election, I had next to me the Archbishop Emeritus of São Paulo. When things got a little dangerous, he comforted me. » Both impressed, yet they did not hesitate to shake up traditions: since Landon, pope in 913, the popes took the name of a predecessor. Luciani allows himself a compound name, in homage to John XXIII and Paul VI. As for Bergoglio, he inaugurates the name of Francis.

Both have family roots in Northern Italy. John Paul I is said to have confided: “I would have liked to be a Jesuit, I am pope…” Jesuit, like Francis. Both share a way of being pope, a way of incarnating their responsibility with simplicity which goes so far as to have a child intervene during a catechesis, or cross the Porte Sainte-Anne, one of the entrances to the Vaticanto talk with passers-by…

The day after his election, Francis went to pay the board where he was staying before the conclave; leaving his position as Patriarch of Venice, Albino Luciani handed over all of his assets to the diocese. “They are pastors, they come from the field, they have a sense of encounter and realities”, comments the Vaticanist Bernard Lecomte, recalling that, however patriarch of Venice, Luciani had the soul of a parish priest. Both also make family a priority. Francis wants “a church for the poor”John Paul I also, but he did not have time to write the encyclical on the poor that he had announced.

surprise election

Born in 1912 from a peasant family in Veneto, ordained a priest in 1935, this parish priest with big boots was quickly spotted, notably by the patriarch of Venice, the future John XXIII, who made him bishop of Vittorio Veneto in 1958. Appointed to his return to Venice in 1969 by Paul VI, Luciani was created cardinal in 1973. A brilliant career despite his episcopal motto, “Humilitas”. On the death of Paul VI, the cardinals must elect the first post-council pope, and the camps will clash. On August 26, 1978, in the fourth round of voting, Albino Luciani was the man of consensus… reluctantly: “May God forgive you for what you have just done…” are his first words.

The day after his first catechesis, L’Osservatore Romano describe “a precise pastoral choice, based on spontaneity and direct contact”.“François and he have a common desire to address people, with simple words, images, emphasizes Jean-Louis de La Vaissière. But we must not make revolutionaries of them, both are faithful to the doctrine,” continues the former AFP correspondent in the Vatican. If he did not have time to make major decisions, John-Paul I humanized the function and imposed a style of pope free with respect to protocol, like Francis.

Anxious to open the Church to the world, Luciani campaigned for a pope from the South. No doubt the last Italian pope prepared the election of Karol Wojtyla. Crushed by the charge, John Paul I suffered a heart attack on the night of September 28, 1978. A brutal death that fueled fantasies, in particular due to clumsy communication from the Vatican.

Miracle in Buenos Aires

John Paul II’s twenty-six years of pontificate quickly eclipsed the smiling pope, even though the Polish successor claimed that “the importance of his pontificate was inversely proportional to its duration”. Introduced in 2003, the cause of John Paul I is celebrated today. In a nod to history, he owes his beatification to the healing in 2011 of a child… from Buenos Aires (Argentina), in a diocese then under the responsibility of a certain Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

“His pontificate was not the passage of a meteor which dies out after a short journey”said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, a native of Veneto just like Albino Luciani. “He lived what he taught”, insisted the Secretary of State, who chairs the Vatican Foundation Jean-Paul-Ier. Prefacing a collection of texts by John Paul I, Francis writes: “Through him, the Lord has found a way to show us that the only treasure is faith, the simple faith of the apostles. »


John Paul I, the last Italian pope

October 17, 1912. Birth of Albino Luciani in Canale d’Agordo (Italy).

July 7, 1935. Priestly ordination.

December 27, 1958. Bishop of Vittorio Veneto.

December 15, 1969. Patriarch of Venice.

March 5, 1973. Created cardinal.

August 26, 1978. Election of John Paul I.

September 3, 1978. Solemn Mass in St. Peter’s Square.

September 28, 1978. Death.

October 4, 1978. Funeral.

November 23, 2003. Opening of the beatification process.

February 17, 2020. Creation of the John Paul I Vatican Foundation.

September 4, 2022. Beatification celebration.


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