33 Years Ago — Papa Luciani’s Suffering

Here are some other words written by Peter C. van Lierde about Luciani shortly after his death (my translation of the Italian):

To you, the faithful of Vatican City, and to all of you who nearly every day work here — a simple, sincere and fraternal word.

…. John Paul I…. a truly great gift, a new dawn of light after the long illuminating light of Pope Paul VI: two lights in the Church and the world, differing from one another but both coming from the same God.

God gave us Pope John Paul I and God has taken him. God is love and he gives divinely; and God always remains Love even when he takes away…

All of us have been struck and shaken by the sudden disappearance of the beloved Pope. We have seen the emotional response pervading the Church and the world, the near and the far, the believers and non-believers. All have bowed their heads, reflecting, meditating and praying…..

I would like to add a modest personal experience. Called by Holy Father John Paul I in the first week of his Pontificate, I had the unexpected joy to be able to speak with him. Suddenly, the Pope looked in my eyes with a firm glance, saying amiably: “I want to tell my Vicar General something confidentially. You may see, Monsignor, that I smile, I smile always, but believe me, inside, I suffer.”

Dear faithful ones, I believe I can tell you these profound words of our beloved Pope so that all of you, here in the Vatican, may be able to love him more with our faithful memory, with our holy and devoted service, and call upon him for the growth and vitality of the Church, today and in the future, and for our lives and health, for our work and our spiritual and material security.

I find van Lierde’s experience of Luciani telling him of ┬áhis sufferings noteworthy. We have always told of Luciani’s smile, his amiability and his warmth. Yet, he suffered, as do all saints.

Papa Luciani, pray for us!

About Deacon Bob

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