Who knows if, approaching the loggia after his election on March 13, 2013, Pope Francis did not think of his predecessor, John Paul I? Like the smiling pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio struck, from his first appearance, with his simplicity. After their election, the two shared their feelings during the conclave.
“I never doubted what would happentestified on August 26, 1978 Albino Luciani. It didn’t take long before something bad happened to me, my neighbors whispered words of consolation to me. » As Francis recounted: “During the election, the Archbishop Emeritus of São Paulo was next to me. When things got a little dangerous, he comforted me. » Both were impressed, but they did not hesitate to shake the traditions: since Landon, pope in 913, the popes took the name of a predecessor. Luciani allowed himself a compound name, in honor of John XXIII and Paul VI. As for Bergoglio, he inaugurated the name of Francis.
Both have family roots in Northern Italy. John Paul I is said to have believed: “I want to be a Jesuit, I’m a pope…” Jesuit, like Francis. Both share a way of being papal, a way of embodying their responsibility in the simplicity that goes as far as joining a child during catechesis, or crossing the door of Saint Anne, one of the passages of the Vatican, to communicate with passersby- through…
The day after his election, Francis went to pay the board where he lived before the conclave; upon leaving his position as Patriarch of Venice, Albino Luciani bequeathed all his possessions to the diocese. “They are pastors, they come from the field, they have a sense of meeting and facts”, commented the Vaticanist Bernard Lecomte, recalling that, regardless of the patriarch of Venice, Luciani had the soul of a parish priest. Both also make family a priority. Francis wanted to “a church for the poor”John Paul I too, but he did not have time to write the encyclical on the poor that he announced.
Born in 1912 from a Veneto peasant family, ordained priest in 1935, this parish priest with big boots was quickly noticed, especially by the Patriarch of Venice, the future John XXIII, who made him Bishop of Vittorio Veneto in 1958. Appointed on his return to Venice in 1969 by Paul VI, Luciani was created cardinal in 1973. A brilliant career despite his episcopal motto, “Humble”. With the death of Paul VI, the cardinals had to choose the first pope after the council, and the camps clashed. On August 26, 1978, in the fourth round of voting, Albino Luciani was the consensus man… “May God forgive you for what you just did…” were his first words.
The day after his first catechesis, L’Osservatore Romano picture “a proper pastoral choice, based on spontaneity and direct contact”.“François and he have a common desire to tell people, in simple words, pictures, sponsored by Jean-Louis de La Vaissiere. But we will not make them revolutionaries, they are both faithful to the doctrine,” continued the former AFP correspondent in the Vatican. When he didn’t have time to make major decisions, John Paul I humanized the office and imposed a papal style free of protocol, like Francis.
Eager to open the Church to the world, Luciani campaigned for a pope from the South. There is no doubt that the last Italian pope is preparing to elect Karol Wojtyla. Crushed by the accusation, John Paul I suffered a heart attack on the night of September 28, 1978. A violent death that fueled fantasies, especially because of clumsy communication from the Vatican.
Miracle in Buenos Aires
The twenty-six-year papacy of John Paul II has passed quickly for the smiling pope, although the Polish heir claims that “The importance of his episcopacy 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 under the responsibility of one Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
“His pontificate is not the path of a meteor that dies after a short journey”said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, a native of Veneto like Albino Luciani. “He followed what he taught”, insisted the Secretary of State, who heads the Vatican Foundation Jean-Paul-Ier. Foremost in a collection of texts by John Paul I, Francis wrote: “Through him, the Lord 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. Ordination to the priesthood.
December 27, 1958. Bishop of Vittorio Veneto.
December 15, 1969. Patriarch of Venice.
March 5, 1973. Made a cardinal.
August 26, 1978. Election of John Paul I.
September 3, 1978. Solemn Mass of St. Peter’s Square.
September 28, 1978. Death.
October 4, 1978. Burial
November 23, 2003. Opening of the beatification process.
February 17, 2020. Creation of the John Paul I Vatican Foundation.
September 4, 2022. Celebration of the Beatification.