Pope John Paul I will be beatified on 4th September 2022 during a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. We are paying a short tribute to the “Smiling Pope” who was once a pilgrim to the Sanctuary of Lourdes.
On 13th October, Pope Francis recognised a miracle that took place in 1978 through the intercession of John Paul I. The Patriarch of Venice, Albino Luciani, was elected pope on 26th August 1978. He died on 28th September 1978, after an extremely brief pontificate of only 33 days. On Wednesday, 8th November, the pope recognised the “heroic virtues” of John Paul I, pope-elect in 1978. Among the other decrees published, is one that recognises the first martyr of the 21st century, a nun murdered in Somalia.
The “smiling Pope” made an impression with his simplicity, his taste for simple and informal conversations, especially with children.
A miracle that occurred in July 2011
The recognised miracle occurred on 23rd July 2011 in Buenos Aires (Argentina). An eleven-year-old girl was said to have inexplicably recovered from “severe acute inflammatory encephalopathy” and “malignant refractory epilepsy and septic shock” after spending several months in hospital with this life-threatening condition.
John Paul I and Lourdes
John Paul I came to Lourdes at least three times.
– In 1964: then Bishop of Vittorio Veneto, he participated in the first solemn con-celebration in the Basilica of Saint Pius X on Sunday 26th July 1964, with Cardinal Ferretto.
– In 1971: when he was Patriarch of Venice from 30th June 30 to 5th July, with his diocese.
– In 1975: after being created cardinal in 1973, he returned from 21st to 25th June with the diocese of Venice, he celebrated mass at the grotto twice on 22nd and 24th June.
A letter from John Paul I where he quotes Lourdes, just a year before his election as Pope:
“What matters in Lourdes, Fatima, La Salette and elsewhere is that Our Lady, in order to guide and help us, in effect says only one thing: prayer and penance (that is, conversion). She echoes Jesus, who warned, “If you do not do penance, you will perish […] Always pray. Always. Shrines help us remember this teaching. That’s why that they are useful and that they do great good.”