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Pope Francis creates foundation to better understand John Paul I


Pope Francis wants to promote a better understanding of John Paul I. That's why he established a Vatican foundation to study his life, his message and his works.

Albino Luciani was elected pope when he was 65 years old, after the death of Paul VI. Although his pontificate lasted only one month, it marked the emergence of a new style.

JOHN PAUL I
“I answered, 'Could it be? I find it strange that a blind woman could lead me.' She grabbed me by the hand and quietly said, 'Walk!' She was Faith.”

He was the first pope to refuse to wear the papal crown. He tried to abandon the throne-like 'Sedia Gestatoria,' but he accepted it because it was the only way the pilgrims in St. Peter's Square could see him.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin leads the new foundation. Another member is Cardinal Beniamino Stella, a great expert on John Paul I. He is also the postulator of the latter's cause for beatification.

The foundation's vice-president and second-in-command is historian and journalist Stefania Falasca.

STEFANIA FALASCA
Vice-president, John Paul I Foundation
“The panorama of current popes, who have institutions and research dedicated to them, was missing studies on Albino Luciani. It's necessary to be able to speak, in scientific terms, about him, his work and his thought, which is extraordinarily relevant today. It's worth studying Albino Luciani.”

John Paul I died on Sept. 28, 1978. On Nov. 23, 2003, John Paul II declared him a Servant of God, the first stage on the way to canonization. In 2017, Pope Francis officially recognized that John Paul I had lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way.

Studying him will surely bring many surprises.

STEFANIA FALASCA
Vice-president, John Paul I Foundation
“During his pontificate, he made clear appeals for solidarity, based on the Populorum Progressio. He did this also to make it clear that the faith is one with charity, that love for God cannot be separated from love for one's neighbor. He wanted to add solidarity with the Third World to the Precepts of the Church. This was in 1971, and I was struck by his foresight.”

One of the foundation's first tasks will be to prepare a publication of the complete works of John Paul I, who was Patriarch of Venice, and who, with his smile, conquered the world and opened new paths within the Church.

JMB/CT