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Pope Francis beatifies John Paul I, pope for 33 days

Courtney Mares By Courtney Mares for CNA

Pope Francis leads the beatification of Pope John Paul I in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Sept. 4, 2022. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Vatican City, Sep 4, 2022 / 06:20 am (CNA).

Pope Francis beatified John Paul I, who reigned as pope for only 33 days, amid a thunderstorm in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday.

In his homily for the rainy beatification Mass on Sept. 4, Pope Francis said that John Paul I “embodied the poverty of a disciple” through his “victory over the temptation to put oneself at the center, to seek one’s own glory.”

Often called “the smiling pope,” John Paul I died unexpectedly on Sept. 28, 1978, a month after the conclave that elected him.

In one of the shortest pontificates in papal history, John Paul I gained a reputation for his humility and his dedication to teaching the faith in an understandable manner.

Cardinals stood in the rain under yellow and white umbrellas as Pope Francis read out the declaration that Pope John Paul I can now be venerated locally on his feast day on Aug. 26.

“With a smile, Pope John Paul I managed to communicate the goodness of the Lord,” Francis said.

“How beautiful is a Church with a happy, serene and smiling face, that never closes doors, never hardens hearts, never complains or harbors resentment, does not grow angry or impatient, does not look dour or suffer nostalgia for the past. Let us pray to him, our father and our brother, and ask him to obtain for us ‘the smile of the soul.’”

During the beatification, a large banner on St. Peter’s Basilica unveiled a portrait of Blessed Pope John Paul I as the pope’s postulator processed through the square with a relic—a handwritten note by the blessed pope on the theological virtues.

John Paul I presided over only four general audiences as pope, offering catecheses on poverty, faith, hope, and charity. Pope Francis quoted these catecheses throughout his homily.

“As Pope John Paul I said, if you want to kiss Jesus crucified, ‘you cannot help bending over the cross and letting yourself be pricked by a few thorns of the crown on the Lord’s head’ (General Audience, 27 September 1978). A love that perseveres to the end, thorns and all: no leaving things half done, no cutting corners, no fleeing difficulties,” Pope Francis said.

John Paul I was the first pope to be born in the 20th century and the most recent pope to be born in Italy. Born Albino Luciani on Oct. 17, 1912, the future John Paul I grew up in relative poverty in Italy’s northern Veneto region.

At the age of 22, he was ordained a priest for the Italian diocese of Belluno e Feltre in 1935. He served as the rector of the diocese’s seminary for 10 years and taught courses on moral theology, canon law, and sacred art.

He participated in all of the sessions of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) as the bishop of Vittorio Veneto and he worked to implement the guidelines council in the following decade as the Patriarch of Venice.

As a cardinal, Luciani published a collection of “open letters” to historic figures, saints, famous writers, and fictional characters. The book, Illustrissimi, included letters to Jesus, King David, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Christopher Marlowe, as well as Pinocchio and Figaro, the barber of Seville.

He made history in 1978 when he became the first pope to take a double name, after his two immediate predecessors, Popes John XXIII and Paul VI. His episcopal motto was simply: “Humilitas.”

Shortly before his death at the age of 65, John Paul I prayed: “Lord take me as I am, with my defects, with my shortcomings, but make me become what you want me to be.”

As the rain clouds cleared by the end of the beatification ceremony, Pope Francis prayed the Angelus in Latin. He said that he was offering the prayer for peace in “martyred Ukraine.”

From his wheelchair, Pope Francis offered personal greetings at the end of the Mass to some of the cardinals, including Cardinal Angelo Becciu. He also greeted the crowd in the popemobile.

“In the words of Pope John Paul I, ‘we are the objects of undying love on the part of God’ (Angelus, 10 September 1978). An undying love: it never sinks beneath the horizon of our lives; it constantly shines upon us and illuminates even our darkest nights,” Pope Francis said.

“When we gaze upon the Crucified Lord, we are called to the heights of that love, to be purified of our distorted ideas of God and our self-absorption, and to love God and others, in Church and society, including those who do not see things as we do, to love even our enemies.”

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  1. Cardinal Villot – Secretary of State – welcomed all visitors to the Pope. Offered coffee. And accompanied them to the throne room.
    Cardinal Villot was a French member of the Grand Orient Luciferian Lodge in Paris, where Cardinal Roncali was photographed while Ambassador to France.

    Following the Gagnon Report – a 3 year investigation into Villot and his fellow infilrates ordered by Paul VI – Pope Paul VI asked for the 3 volumes to be presented to his successor.
    A warning shot was fired when Cardinal Villot presented Pope John Paul 1st Archbishop Nicodem of Leningrad. He closed the doors, and… the Archbishop died in the Pope’s arms.
    The smiling Pope failed to heed the warning, and was himself found dead shortly afterwards by the same Cardinal Villot who ordered him embalmed immediately.
    The Most Important point of Pope John Paul 1st, is that the Gagnon Report died with him. It has concrete evidence painstakenly gathered about the Freemasons who had taken over the Curia: notably Villot, Baggio Bugnini.
    Publish the Gagnon Report, set Catholicism free of Post-Conciliarism. Only when the Infiltration is recognised, can the Eclipse be brought to an End.
    Source principal : Theodore Murr “Murder in the 33rd Degree”

    • Dear Dr Coelho:

      We do well to venerate the memory of this godly man. The Lord blessed the church in having him as leader.

      Yet, as we pray, why not beseech the author and perfecter of our faith, the one who calls us brother? We know Jesus Christ died for our sins and speaks to the Father on our behalf.

      1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.

      Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

      God bless you as we all praise the glorious eternal name of Jesus,

      Brian Young

  2. Let us also remember that this pope sent warm congratulations on the birth of Baby Louise Brown, the first child born from in vitro fertilization.

    • Louise Brown was an innocent baby. She had no say in the manner of her conception. It is likely that Pope John Paul1 wanted to protect her.

    • Even before Bergoglio.

      The church is now nothing more than a saint factory. We should return to the old vetting system before JP2 weakened it.

  3. It seems being named pope automatically makes you a candidate for canonization. I’m afraid I’m getting a bit skeptical about the whole business.

  4. Okay. The furious rainstorm did it! Not really. Omen or not, my previous comment [presumptuously] deserves [with limited though nonetheless redacting] re posting:
    A true saint perhaps. Although, it’s remarkable that all the pontiffs starting with John XXIII are declared saints. Was there a precedent? Does it have suggestion, some apparent meaning? As a wild guess does it ensure the declaration of sainthood for Benedict XVI? And then, inevitably for Francis? Declarations of heroic sanctity more in favor of a presumed hermeneutic of continuity throughout including the radical new paradigm?.

    • We should be done with this circus at the Vatican and declare propectively that each and every future Pope is automatically declared a Saint.

    • If I may Fr Peter. Cardinal Hollerich unveiled a Commissioned painting in the Vatican’s EU Parliament office. It portrays all Popes from 1958 to 2022… and also, top left, a portrait of Cardinal Rampolla.
      Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro was Secretary of State under Pope Leo xiii. Founder of the P2 Vatican Lodge, he almost pulled off the 1958 Coupe d’état in 1903, but was stopped by the Catholic Veto of a country obliterated by the Freemasons in 1914 – so it could never happen again.
      The same Freemason Godfather Rampolla has his bust in the Room of the Popes in the Vatican Basilica. He is the only Cardinal. It is dated 1914. The year the P2 Umbrella Lodge lanched World War 1.
      According to Saint Maxilmillian Kolbe comolete writings, the French Grand Orient and their German brothers planned the trench massacre of 19 million Catholics in a Swiss town in 1913.
      Cardinal Villot – French Grand Orient Luciferian Freemason – was present in Rome as Pope Pius XII’s Doctor pumped his stomach in a desperate attempt to remove the poison. He was still secretary of state under Paul VI, having masterminded Roncali’s election and disposed of the Gagnon Report and Pope John Paul 1st who had asked Cardinal Freemason Baggio to stop naming the World’s Bishops… and go live in Venice. He didn’t. Pope John Paul 1st was dead the following morning.

    • Father Peter, whatever the truth be concerning Sainthood, it is highly plausible and indeed should be investigated: Was Pope John Paul 1st a Martyr?
      He called Cardinal Baggio, confronted him with the Gagnon report and told him to cease naming bishops and go live a quiet life in Venice.
      After one hour of Baggio shouting at the Pope he left. Cardinal Villot collected the Gagnon report – which he died in bed reading – cups, medications and ordered him embalmed firstcthing the following day.
      Baggio and Villot Continued in power. The Pope was burried, like Pius XII before him.
      The Gagnon Report can Save the Church.
      It is time to join Fr Theodore Murr and beg Rome to Publish it. They can issue Pachamama coins and Print Luther Stamps. Publish the Paul VI commissioned 4 year Report.

  5. I saw a documentary on him on EWTN, I believe. The one line I remember was that he was imploring his aide “on how the Catholic church could be a poor church serving the poor.”

    Did he say this?

  6. I don’t mind his canonisation, although they do seem to be going Gung-ho on pope canonisations.

    I do very much mind the Vatican halting last month the canonisation process for Father (Chaplain) Capodanno. He was a Navy chaplain serving with the Marines in Vietnam in 1967. Even though seriously wounded he moved around the battlefield ministering to wounded and dying Marines, until he was hit and killed by numerous machine gun rounds while helping wounded Marines and a corpsman. Our country awarded him the highest honour, the Medal of Honour.

    Some of the reasons the Vatican listed for halting the canonisation process:

    Given military operations going on at this time (Ukraine) not a good idea to recognise a military person.
    No evidence of spiritual growth in his last year of life. (He was serving in Vietnam during his last year of life!)
    Too fastidious about his appearance. ( He wore the Navy uniform how it was supposed to be worn).
    The military archdiocese, not his Marynoll order, was promoting the cause. (Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Marynoll order was not embarrassed by one of their members being in the military.)

    This whole thing is absolutely pathetic. Is the canonisation process like making sausages, you really don’t want to see the process.

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  1. Pope Francis beatifies John Paul I, pope for 33 days – Via Nova Media
  2. Pope Francis beatifies John Paul I, pope for 33 days – Catholic World Report – The Old Roman

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