Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pope John Paul I - born 100 years ago

Pope John Paul I - Pope for 33 days

Born Albino Luciani in Canale d'Agordo near Belluno, Italy, on October 17, 1912, Pope John Paul I became a seminarian at 11 years old, a priest at 23 years old, and was the Patriarch of Venice from 1969 until he became Pope on August 26, 1978.  Pope John Paul I held a theology degree from Gregorian University in Rome. He was the first Pope to have two combined names.  He wanted to continue the work of Pope Paul VI and Pope John XXIII. Because of his rural background and his ability to explain the catechism simplistically, Pope John Paul I was called "The Peasant Pope," as well as "The Smiling Pope."
With a Maltese altar-boy during a general audience
Pope John Paul I was a catechism teacher by profession and wrote Bits and Pieces of the Catechism (Catechesi in briciole) and Illustrissimi, a collection of articles Pope John Paul I wrote for St. Anthony's Messenger consisting of letters written to biblical, historical, literary, and imaginary characters. He died suddenly on September 28th, 1978 after reigning as Pope for a mere 33 days.
Tomb of Pope John Paul I in the Vatican crypt
From the only speech he gave to the US Bishops during their ad limina visit:
"The holiness of the Christian family is indeed a most apt means for producing the serene renewal of the church which the council so eagerly desired. Through family prayer, the "ecclesia domestica" (domestic church) becomes an effective reality and leads to the transformation of the world. And all the efforts of parents to instill God's love into their children and to support them by the example of faith, constitute a most relevant apostolate for the 20th century. Parents with special problems are worthy of our particular pastoral care and all our love. Dear brothers, we want you to know where our priorities lie. Let us do everything we can for the Christian family, so that our people may fulfill their great vocation in Christian joy and share intimately and effectively in the church's mission—Christ's mission—of salvation. And be assured that you, yourselves, have our full support in the love of the Lord Jesus."

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