“How beautiful is a church with a happy, calm and smiling face, never shutting its doors, never hardening hearts, never complaining, never harboring resentment, not being angry, not looking gloomy or suffering from nostalgia,” said the Pope.
Then Francis encouraged people to pray to the newly beatified churchman “that he may obtain for us the smile of the Spirit.”
Last year, Francis accepted a miracle attributed to the intercession of John Paul I – the miracle of healing an 11-year-old girl in critical condition in 2011 in Buenos Aires, the current pope’s hometown. Candela Giarda, now a young woman, said at a press conference at the Vatican last week via video message that she wanted to attend the ceremony but couldn’t because she recently broke her foot while working out in the gym.
In order for Luciani to be declared a saint, another miracle, after his beatification, must be attributed to his intercession and certified by the Vatican.
Seated under a canopy outside St. Peter’s Basilica, Francis led the ceremony, which was punctuated by the rumble of thunder, flashes of lightning, and torrential rain, which prompted cardinals, bishops, choirs, and thousands of faithful ranks and files in the square into open canopies.
But at the end of the party, the sun was shining, and Francis, waving while seated in a pram, made a tour of the square, waving to the audience, some of whom shouted, “Long live the Pope!”
When he was elected pope on August 26, 1978, the 65-year-old Luciani was holding the position of Patriarch of Venice, one of the most prestigious positions in the Church. In this position as well as that of former bishop in northeastern Italy, Luciani issued warnings against corruption, including in banking circles.
In his short-lived papacy, which ended with the discovery of his body in his bedroom in the Apostolic Palace, John Paul I immediately established a simple and direct way of communicating with believers in the discourses he gave, a change of style considered revolutionary given the depressing environment of the Church’s hierarchical environment.
Those who struggled to become a saint one day have stressed his deep spirituality and his tireless emphasis on the main Christian virtues – faith, hope, and love.
John Paul said, “He lived without compromise,” said Francis, praising him as a moderate and humble shepherd.
The pope said Luciani had overcome “the temptation to be in position and to seek glory”.
The Vatican said John Paul died of a heart attack, but no autopsy was performed. He gave conflicting accounts of the circumstances of his discovery. At first he said that a priest who worked as his secretary had found him, but later admitted that John Paul had found him dead by one of the nuns who brought him his usual morning coffee.
With the emergence of a massive financial scandal at the time in Italy involving figures with ties to the Vatican Bank, suspicions quickly took hold in the secular media that Luciani might have been poisoned because he intended to crack down on wrongdoing.
Books speculating about the circumstances surrounding his death have sold millions of copies.
“Amateur organizer. Wannabe beer evangelist. General web fan. Certified internet ninja. Avid reader.”