Papa Luciani

I have always had a special affection for Pope John Paul the First (Papa Luciani, as most called him).  As you recall, he was pope for only 33 days in 1978.  I was able to see his election, watching from Piazza di San Pietro that afternoon, listened to him give his first message that day –and thinking what a high-pitched voice he had— then much to my surprise I was selected from so many other international students to serve at his installation Mass as cross bearer.  I was able to approach him closely and remember well his smile.  When he died, I rushed back from Germany where I had been working to attend his funeral.

I believe the man is a saint.  I only wish we would have been able to see what an extended pontificate of John Paul I would have been like. 

I find myself thinking of him today for some reason.  A little over thirty years has passed since his untimely death.

I would encourage all of you to log on to  A wonderful website with lots of information and links about Papa Luciani.

By the way, he may be declared “blessed” in the near future.  Perhaps a saint in my lifetime.  If that happens, I hope to be present at St. Peter’s for that Mass!

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota.
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