John Paul I's election commemorated
Yesterday's 25th anniversary of the beginning of Pope John Paul I's 33 day pontificate was marked by a ceremony in the town of his birth, Canale d'Agordo near Venice.
Local bishop Vincenzo Savio of Belluno Feltre has been preparing to open the cause for the beatification of John Paul I - also known as Albino Luciani - later this year. Testimonies are already being gathered.
"It is important to keep Luciani as a companion who will lead us to discover ordinary holiness," Bishop Savio said. "Luciani is not a holy saint characterised by many miracles or works of who-knows-what extent. His holiness consists in the exercise of daily virtues, in the ordinary character of life."
Albino Luciani was born on 17 Octgober 1912. He was ordained in 1935, and dedicated his priestly ministry to the study of theology and the formation of seminarians of the Belluno Diocese, where he was vice rector of the seminary.
Appointed bishop of Vittorio Veneto in 1958, he took part in the four sessions of the Second Vatican Council. In 1969, Paul VI named him Patriarch of Venice.
Fr Diego Lorenzi, Cardinal Albino Luciani's secretary since 1973, recalls that he was timid, and that he walked around Venice dressed as any other priest.
"But it must be added that when the truth had to be told, there was no timidness able to silence him," he recalled.
John Paul I - The Smiling Pope
The 'other' conclave: Remembering John Paul I, 'the smiling pope' (Catholic News Service/The Tidings)
Albino Luciani-Pope John Paul I: An Irish Tribute
Ioannes Paulus PP. I (Vatican website)
27 Aug 2003