Pope Francis prayed Sunday, August 6, at the tomb of Blessed Pope Paul VI, on the 39th anniversary of his death in 1978. He is buried in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Pope Francis beatified blessed Paul VI on October 19, 2014, and his liturgical feast is celebrated on the day of his birth, September 26. He served as pope from his election on June 21, 1963 until his death.
Pope Francis on April 4, 2017, addressed the participants in the Congress promoted by the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, being held in the Vatican , on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Encyclical Populorum Progressio, authored by Pope Paul.
“In that encyclical, he specified in detail the meaning of “integral development (cf. n. 21), and he proposed that synthetic and fortunate formula: ‘development of every man and of the whole man’ (n. 14),” Pope Francis told congress participants.
“God made himself known fully in Jesus Christ: in Him, God and man are not divided and separated between them. God became man to make of human life, be it personal or social, a concrete way of salvation. Thus God’s manifestation in Christ – including His gestures of healing, liberation, reconciliation that we are called to propose again today to the many wounded on the side of the road – indicates the path and the way of the service that the Church intends to offer the world: in its light one can understand what ‘integral’ development means, which does no wrong to God or to man, because it assumes all the consistency of both.
“In this connection, in fact, the concept of person, born and matured in Christianity, helps to pursue a fully human development. Because the word ‘person’ always means relation, not individualism; it affirms inclusion and not exclusion, the unique and inviolable identity and not exploitation, freedom and not constriction.”
Pope Paul also authored Humanae Vitae, the 1968 encyclical that affirmed Catholic teachings on issues of life and birth control.