John Paul I elected Pope
Pope John Paul I (Latin: Ioannes Paulus PP. I, Italian: Giovanni Paolo I), born Albino Luciani, (17 October 1912 – 28 September 1978), reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and as Sovereign of Vatican City from 26 August 1978 until his death 33 days later. His reign is among the shortest in papal history, resulting in the most recent Year of Three Popes. John Paul I was the first Pope born in the 20th century.
In Italy he is remembered with the affectionate appellatives of "Il Papa del sorriso" ("The smiling Pope") and "Il sorriso di Dio" ("God's smile").
Luciani was elected on the fourth ballot of the August 1978 papal conclave. He chose the regnal name of John Paul, the first double name in the history of the papacy, explaining in his famous Angelus that he took it as a thankful honour to his two immediate predecessors: John XXIII, who had named him a bishop, and Paul VI, who had named him Patriarch of Venice and a cardinal. He was also the first (and so far only) pope to use "the first" in his regnal name. In Italy he is remembered with the affectionate appellatives of "Il Papa del Sorriso" (The Smiling Pope) and "Il Sorriso di Dio" (God's Smile).
John Paul I pictured in a coin.
Observers have suggested that his selection was linked to the rumored divisions between rival camps within the College of Cardinals:
Conservatives and Curialists supporting Cardinal Giuseppe Siri, who favored a more conservative interpretation or even correction of Vatican II's reforms.
Those who favored a more liberal interpretation of Vatican II's reforms, and some Italian cardinals supporting Cardinal Giovanni Benelli, who was opposed because of his "autocratic" tendencies.
The dwindling band of supporters of Cardinal Sergio Pignedoli, who was allegedly so confident that he was papabile that he went on a crash diet to fit the right size of white cassock when elected.
Outside the Italians, now themselves a lessening influence within the increasingly internationalist College of Cardinals, were figures like Karol Cardinal Wojtyła. Over the days following the conclave, cardinals effectively declared that with general great joy they had elected "God's candidate". Argentine Eduardo Francisco Cardinal Pironio stated that, "We were witnesses of a moral miracle." And later, Mother Teresa commented: "He has been the greatest gift of God, a sunray of God's love shining in the darkness of the world."
Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) of Leningrad, who was present at his installation, collapsed and died during the ceremony, and the new Pope prayed over him in his final moments.
Pope John Paul I was the predecessor to the highly popular Pope John Paul II, but don't feel bad if you do not remember him, because his term as a Pope was short lived. In fact, it only lasted 33 days before Pope John Paul I died in office. So who was Pope John Paul I, where did He come from and what were His accomplishments?
A Short Biography of Pope John Paul 1:
His real name is Albino Luciani.
He was born on October 17 1912 in Belluno Italy. He entered the minor seminary at Feltre on October 1, 1923. He became an ordained priest on July 7, 1935 in St Peter's Church Belluno. He became crate on Forno di Canale on July 8 of 1935. He was the Chaplain and teacher at the Technical Institute for Miners in Agordo from 1935-1937. He was appointed Vice Rector of Seminary at Belluno from 1935-1947. He received a Doctorate in Theology in 1950.
Consecrated as Bishop of Vittorio Vento on December 27, 1958. Was named Patriarch of Venice on December 15, 1969. Was made a Cardinal on March 5, 1973. Was elected Pope on August 26, 1978 and adopted the name of Pope John Paul I. The Religious Figure Pope John Paul I who was born Albino Luciani was a devout religious man who dedicated his life to the Catholic Church almost from the first time he could. As you can see from the brief biography above -- from the time he entered the Seminary in 1923 to the time he was inaugurated as the Pope in 1978, he held a great many positions within the Catholic Church. Each of these positions marked a gradual progression through the ranks of the church until he reached the ultimate calling -- that of Pope.
As Pope he combined the names of his immediate two predecessors Paul VI and John XXIII, to become Pope John Paul and was the first Pope to ever take a double name. He was always cheerful and low-key in his dealing with other people so was soon named the smiling Pope. He was reportedly also a big fan of American author Mark Twain, reading his works whenever he could.
His death is surrounded in great controversy. On the eve of September 28, 1978 he apparently died form a heart attack while reading in bed. His means of death has be greatly disputed and some including David Yallop in his book "In God's Name" (1984) allege that Pope John Paul was poisoned in order to keep him from discovering the truth about Vatican financial misdeeds. The conspiracy theory revolves around some supposed Vatican officials who feared that if Pope John Paul had lived he would have uncovered their financial misconduct within Vatican affairs.
These same Vatican Officials supposedly then decided that Pope John Paul must be eliminated in order to protect them form prosecution. The officials then secured and used a slow acting poison that when used would cause a person to appear to have died from a heart attack. The poison was the administered to Pope John Paul over the span of a couple of days until he succumbed on September 28, 1978. To this date, none of these charges or allegations has ever led to an arrest and none have ever been proven.
Pope John Paul's reign was short and who knows what would have happened had he lived. The next "Pope John Paul II" paid tribute to him by taking on the name of his predecessor.
The first Pope to bear two names, John Paul I died 34 days after his election, making his the shortest pontificate since Leo XI’s in the April of 1605. He had succeeded Pope Paul VI, who had reigned for 15 tumultuous years during and after the 2nd Vatican Council, called by Pope John XXIII
Albino Luciani came from a poor family and, having first completed his military service, he was ordained on July 7th, 1935. He studied at Rome’s Gregorian University before a brief period as curate in his childhood parish, after which he was appointed to a deputy position at Belluno seminary in 1937. Years of teaching followed, during which time Luciani became vicar-general to the Bishop at Belluno; he also worked at a doctrinal conference.
Towards the end of 1958 Pope John XXIII appointed Luciani as bishop of Vittorio Veneto, and after a slow start at the Vatican Council of 1962 – 65 he soon became an active voice in doctrinal matters. The largely pastoral and personal nature of Luciani’s office led to local demands for his promotion, and the future Pope became archbishop of Venice in 1969, and a cardinal in 1973; his presence on a range of councils and commissions followed.
After Luciani’s election, the mood appears to have been one of widespread optimism and John Paul established himself by taking the names of his two predecessors – John XXIII and Paul VI – to represent a combination of their qualities: one progressive, the other traditional. Eschewing the normally lavish coronation, John Paul quickly captured the media’s support with an unplanned press conference, but this hopeful mood ended with his sudden death, of a heart attack, a few weeks later; there had been no time to implement any policies. He was succeeded by John Paul II.