Skip to comments.Humilitas (30th anniversary of the death of JPI)
Posted on 09/28/2008 2:31:35 PM PDT by NYer
On this 30th anniversary of the death of the short-reigned "Smiling Pope," B16 recalled John Paul I at today's Angelus:
Pope Luciani, said Benedict XVI, chose Saint Carlo Borromeos Episcopal mottoHumilitas as his own, a word that sums up that which is essential in Christian life and which indicates the virtue needed by those in the Church who are called to the service of authority.
In one of the four general audiences held during his brief pontificate he said among other things and in that very informal way of his: I will just recommend one virtue so dear to the Lord. He said, Learn from me who am meek and humble of heart. [. . .] Even if you have done great things, say: We are useless servants. He noted: On the contrary the tendency in all of us, is rather the contrary: to show off. Thus humility can be considered as his spiritual testament.
Thanks to this virtue of his, only 33 days were necessary for Pope Luciani to enter peoples hearts. In his speeches he used examples taken from real life, from his own family memories and from the wisdom of ordinary folks. His simplicity was a tool to formulate solid and vivid teachings which he enhanced by frequent quotes from Church and secular writers that he could recall thanks to an exceptional memory and a vast culture. He was a catechist without equal, following in the footsteps of Saint Pius X, his compatriot and predecessor on the chair of Saint Mark and then Saint Peter. We must feel small before God, he said during that same audience. I am not ashamed to feel like a child before his mother, he added; one believes in one's mother; I believe in the Lord, in what he has revealed to me. These words show the strength of his faith. As we thank God for having given him to the Church and the world, let us cherish his example and commit ourselves to the same humility that made him able to speak to one and all, especially to the little ones and the so-called far away.
A shooting star on the world stage who publicly admitted to being "confused" by his election, the complete texts of Papa Luciani's days on Peter's chair -- most notably his General Audiences -- are available in English. (The first of the four Wednesday talks provides the backstory to the shot at right.)
Most of them given in his unscripted, folksy style -- among others he drew from were Jules Verne and Dale Carnegie -- they make for quite the read.
There have been several stories on the election of JPII. From what I recall, someone at the conclave told him that he was intended to serve as pontiff but did not secure enough votes at the previous one. Can't find the resources; perhaps someone else can. Thanks.
I think the church would have gone in the right direction a whole lot sooner had he lived.
I remember reading he loved tradition. That was a while ago and I’m not even sure where I read it.
Get a copy of “Stealing from Angels”. It’s an easy read but a novel regarding the death of JPI. Interesting in a “Windswept House” sort of way.
Thanks for the tip! My Christmas list is growing daily :-)
I was in Rome the day after his death and there was a run on the Vatican Post Office for stamps with his face and the freshly minted coins from his pontificate. Sadly, at that time, I was a lapsed Catholic and held no interest in these events.
Bumping — almost posted this. Glad I went back through the pings.
“Let nothing be done through contention, neither by vain glory: but in humility, let each esteem others better than themselves:” Philippians 2:3