‘Smiling Pope’ Albino Luciani Will Be Beatified

Recognition of Miracle Attributed to Late John Paul I’s Intercession

Pope John Paul I, Albino Luciani - Copyright: Vatican Media
Pope John Paul I, Albino Luciani - Copyright: Vatican Media

The ‘Smiling Pope,’ Albino Luciani, will be proclaimed blessed.

The news came in a Vatican bulletin announcing Pope Francis recognized a miracle attributed to the late Italian pontiff whose pontificate lasted a mere 33 days.

Before his General Audience this Wednesday, Oct. 13, Francis received Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints, where the Argentine Pope authorized the Vatican prefect to promulgate the decree recognizing the miracle attributed to Venerable Servant of God, John Paul I.

Albino Luciani was born on Oct. 17, 1912 in Canale d’Agordo, Italy.

In 1935, he was ordained a priest, and by 1958, he was appointed bishop of Vittorio Veneto in 1958. In 1969, he was made Patriarch of Venice, and in 1973, he was created cardinal.

Luciani was elected pope on Aug. 26, 1978, but on Sept. 29, only 33 days into his papacy, he died.

On Nov. 9, 2017, Albino Luciani was named “venerable,” meaning that the Church recognized his heroic virtues in his cause for beatification.

The miracle recognized today involves the healing of an eleven-year-old girl at the end of her life with “severe acute inflammatory encephalopathy, a malignant refractory epileptic illness and septic shock”.  According to the Vatican, “her situation was very serious, characterized by numerous daily seizures and a septic state of bronchopneumonia.” Pope John Paul I was invoked after the parish priest of the parish overseeing the hospital suggested praying to the smiling pope.

The date of beatification will be determined by Pope Francis in due time.