A young girl’s miraculous healing is attributed to the “Smiling Pope’s” intercession

By Vatican News

Pope Francis authorized on October 13 Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and his dicastery to promulgate the decree recognizing a miracle attributed to the intercession of Albino Luciani or Pope John Paul I.

The miracle was 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,” characterized by numerous daily seizures and a septic state of bronchopneumonia. The initiative to invoke the Pope had been taken by the local parish priest.

So for Pope John Paul I, who hailed from the northern Italian region of Veneto, the way to beatification has been cleared.

Born on October 17, 1912 in Forno di Canale (today Canale d’Agordo), in the province of Belluno, and died on September 28, 1978 in the Vatican, Albino Luciani was Pope for only 34 days, one of the shortest pontificates in history.

He was the son of a socialist worker who had worked for a long time as an emigrant in Switzerland. In a letter written to Luciani granting him permission to enter the seminary, his father wrote: “I hope that when you become a priest, you will be on the side of the poor, because Christ was on their side,” words Luciani would put into practice all his life.

Albino Luciani was ordained priest in 1935 and in 1958, immediately after the election of John XXIII, was appointed bishop of Vittorio Veneto.

Luciani participated in the entire Second Vatican Council and applied its directives with enthusiasm.

A pastor close to his people, he spent a lot of time in the confessional.

During the years the lawfulness of the contraceptive pill was being discussed, he listened to many young families and repeatedly expressed himself in favor of an opening of the Church on its use.

But in 1968, when Pope Paul VI released his encyclical Humanae Vitae, declaring the contraceptive pill morally illicit, Luciani faithfully promoted the document.

Pope Paul VI appointed him the Patriarch of Venice in 1969 and made him a cardinal in 1973.

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