Monday, September 29, 2008

Papa Luciani

I am pleased that I was ahead of curve, posting a lovely video of Pope John I that I have seen appearing today to mark the thirtieth anniversary of his death in 1978 way back in February 2007. In fact, Papa Luciani has featured in these pages more than this day. So a Καθολικός διάκονος retrospective:

Pope John Paul I on "this most delicate matter"

The Goodness of Papa Luciani

"Have I become the hollow man I see?"- in which a lovely prayer of his appears. Sorry, the video no longer works.

There are a few other references to him sprinkled around in various posts. If you are interested the blogspot search function is very good and fast.

In 1978 I was 12 years old, turning 13 that November. I used to stay with my maternal grandma a lot. I remember vividly both conclaves that year. Back then, before twenty-four hour news, you had to stay up late to see coverage, which, given the time difference, was late afternoon or early evening in Rome. It was the first time I thought about being Catholic. I had a reading for fun class. I remember reading a biography of Pope John XXIII between conclaves.


  1. Scott, I often wonder what Papa Luciani's influence would have been on the Church if he would have had the 10 plus years of life that we all anticipated he would have in 1978. I lived in Rome during the late 1970s, and had direct experience of him. I believe he was and is a saint.

    I sat in the piazza san pietro anticipating the white smoke with all the others and raced to get the "extra" edition of the Osservatore Romano just an hour or so after the conclave, and was amazed at his humble origins. I am grateful I was able to serve Mass for him shortly after his election.

    I raced back to Rome from Oslo after learning of his death, so I was able to participate in his funeral Mass and witness the election of JPII. JPII was great, but there was something about Luciani that we all needed, and still need, and will find irreplaceable.

    Papa Luciani, pray for us!

  2. Thanks for writing about your experience. I think we all wonder what if . . . Oh well, it matters like the death of Papa Luciani, we must trust God. I agree, he was a truly holy man.