John Paul I’s Election Remembered

CANALE D’AGORDO, Italy, AUG. 28, 2008 ( Cardinal Angelo Scola, patriarch of Venice, celebrated a Mass on Tuesday to mark the 30th anniversary of the election of “the smiling Pope,” John Paul I.

The celebration took place at the Church of Canale d’Agordo, in the Venuto region of Italy, where Albino Luciani was born in 1912.

He was the eldest of four siblings. His biographers say that he was a restless, strong and vivacious child.

Luciani entered the minor seminary of the town of Feltre, and then went on to the major seminary of Belluno, where he was ordained priest in 1935.

He was appointed bishop of Vittorio Veneto in 1958, and was appointed patriarch of Venice in 1969. In 1973 he was elevated to cardinal.

John Paul I was the first Pope to have a composite name, a gesture to honor his two predecessors — John XXIII and Paul VI. His papal motto was “humilitas” (humility).

The “smiling Pope” died Sept. 28, 1978, 33 days after his election to the papacy.