Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Remembering Pope John Paul I
On this day thirty-two years ago, just thirty-three days after becoming pope, Papa Luciani, known as John Paul I, unexpectedly passed in his sleep. One observer said of his brief pontificate "God knew we needed a smile." Indeed, anyone who remembers Papa Luciani remembers his lovely smile and his touching humility, his gentleness, and simplicity. My heart fills with joy to hear his gentle voice. If Jesus spoke English with an Italian accent this how I think He would speak to me because He knows it would melt my stone cold heart.
He wrote a prayer that I recite sometimes on Thursday evenings in preparation for Fridays: "I am asking you a grace, my Lord. I would like you to be nearby me when I close my eyes on the earth. I would like you to hold my hand in yours, as a mother with her child in the hour of danger. Thank you, my Lord."
Papa Luciani, gentle shepherd, pray for us.