Collection: Pope John Paul I

ARTIST: Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS


We are the children of hope, we are the amazement of God.
—Pope John Paul I

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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

His death is surrounded in great controversy. On the eve of September 28, 1978, he apparently died from a heart attack while reading in bed. His means of death has been 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 from 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.