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Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Beatification of Pope John Paul I: "Smiling Pope" Named for the Architects of Vatican II

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Beatification of Pope John Paul I: "Smiling Pope" Named for the Architects of Vatican II

Really struggling over here. I lived through his pontificate. Wouldn't be a bit surprised if somebody murdered him. Don't know. But he's not being beatified, obviously, as a martyr. So why, then?

What did he do, actually? He smiled a lot? He's the patron saint of smilers? Really? That's it?

I do know that, from the very start of his career, Albino Luciani was promoted enthusiastically by Pope John XXIII (even before he was pope) and also by Paul VI, who named him Patriarch of Venice.

In 1973, a few months before Luciani was named a cardinal, Pope Paul VI famously took off his stole and placed it on Luciani’s shoulders — saying, “You deserve this stole”.

So, we know he was very close to the two architects of Vatican II and the New Mass... thus his decision to specifically name himself after the two popes of Vatican II. In his own words: “I shall be called John Paul. I have neither the ‘wisdom of the heart’ of Pope John, nor the preparation and culture of Pope Paul, but I am in their place."

Anyway, now we're supposed to be overwhelmed with joy that John Paul I has been beatified. I'm sorry, I mean no disrespect....but I can't get there. I know very little about the man, other than that he was a Vatican II guy with a close relationship with the Vatican II popes which, in my opinion, is precisely why Francis just beatified him.

Anyway, here's his official beatification portrait, in case you forgot what he looked like... or who he was... or what he did. Enjoy:


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Last modified on Wednesday, September 7, 2022
Michael J. Matt | Editor

Michael J. Matt has been an editor of The Remnant since 1990. Since 1994, he has been the newspaper's editor. A graduate of Christendom College, Michael Matt has written hundreds of articles on the state of the Church and the modern world. He is the host of The Remnant Underground and Remnant TV's The Remnant Forum. He's been U.S. Coordinator for Notre Dame de Chrétienté in Paris--the organization responsible for the Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartres, France--since 2000.  Mr. Matt has led the U.S. contingent on the Pilgrimage to Chartres for the last 24 years. He is a lecturer for the Roman Forum's Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, Italy. He is the author of Christian Fables, Legends of Christmas and Gods of Wasteland (Fifty Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll) and regularly delivers addresses and conferences to Catholic groups about the Mass, home-schooling, and the culture question. Together with his wife, Carol Lynn and their seven children, Mr. Matt currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.