John Paul I, ‘the smiling pope,’ to be beatified after miracle approved by Pope Francis

Hannah Brockhaus By Hannah Brockhaus for CNA

Pope John Paul I in an undated file photo. / Vatican Media/CNA.

Vatican City, Oct 13, 2021 / 04:41 am (CNA).

Pope Francis has recognized a miracle obtained through the intercession of his predecessor Venerable John Paul I, who will now be declared “blessed.”

Often called “the smiling pope,” John Paul I died unexpectedly on Sept. 28, 1978, after just 33 days in office. A priority of his short pontificate was carrying forward the work of the Second Vatican Council.

But even before he was elected pope, Albino Luciani was known for his humility, his emphasis on spiritual poverty, and his dedication to teaching the faith in an understandable manner.

Pope Francis gave his approval on Oct. 13 for the cause of beatification of John Paul I to move forward, along with the causes of six other people on the path to sainthood.

John Paul I was declared Venerable by Pope Francis in 2017.

According to a report this week from the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, John Paul I may be beatified before Easter.

Though beatification ceremonies usually take place in the country most associated with the life of the new blessed, as a pope, John Paul I is likely to be beatified at the Vatican by Pope Francis.

The miracle attributed to John Paul I’s intercession is the 2011 healing of a girl in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, Argentina, from a severe form of encephalopathy, a disease affecting the brain.

Last year, Pope Francis instituted a Vatican foundation to promote John Paul I’s thought and teachings.

In an article in L’Osservatore Romano on April 28, 2020, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin wrote that “Pope John Paul I was and remains a reference point in the history of the universal Church, the importance of which — as St. John Paul II pointed out — is inversely proportional to the duration of his very short pontificate.”

In 2008, on the 30th anniversary of John Paul I’s death, Benedict XVI reflected on St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, when the apostle writes: “Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves.”

Benedict said that this biblical text called to mind John Paul I, who chose the same episcopal motto as St. Charles Borromeo, “Humilitas.”

John Paul I’s simplicity, according to Benedict, “was a means of solid and fruitful instruction, which, thanks to the gift of an excellent memory and vast culture, was enriched by numerous citations of Church and secular authors.”


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2 Comments

  1. This is an earthly honour, yet God knows His saints and provides insight as to who i a saint according to His word. It would have been a great honour to meet this man of God. His untimely death was a sorrow to the Catholic Church.

    Revelation 1:1- The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood …

    1 Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

    Acts 9:13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem.

    Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    1 John 4:16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

    1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

    Blessings

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