History of the Holy Life of Saintly Pope John Paul I, the Smiling Pope, who will be Beatified on Sept. 4, as Presented by the Vatican

Press Conference to present the Beatification of Pope John Paul I, 
At 11.30 this morning, at the Press Office of the Holy See, the Press Conference for the presentation of the Beatification of Pope John Paul I (born Albino Luciani) took place, which will take place on Sunday 4 September in St. Peter's Square.
Speakers: the Most Eminent Cardinal Beniamino Stella, Postulator of the Cause of Beatification; Dr. Stefania Falasca, Vice-President of the John Paul I Vatican Foundation, Vice-Postulator of the Cause; Don Davide Fiocco, John Paul I Vatican Foundation, representing the Diocese of Belluno-Feltre; Dr. Lina Petri, John Paul I Vatican Foundation, niece of the Pope; Sister Margherita Marin, of the Sisters of Maria Bambini; Father Juan José Dabusti, Priest of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires.
Below we publish the speeches by Cardinal Beniamino Stella and Don Davide Fiocco, as well as the testimony of Dr. Lina Petri, Sister Margherita Marin and Father J. José Dabusti:
Speech by His Eminence Cardinal Beniamino Stella
At the beginning of this meeting it seems appropriate to briefly recall the history of the Cause of beatification and canonization of Albino Luciani, John Paul I.
44 years have passed since his death, from that 1978 which saw three Successors of Peter follow one another at the helm of the Church. Several generations have passed. But it must be remembered that already immediately after the death of John Paul I - a Pope who in little more than a month had won the hearts of believers and not all over the world - his reputation for holiness, already present in life, began to spread. Many faithful had begun to pray to him. The then bishop of Belluno-Feltre, the native diocese of Albino Luciani, received many requests to introduce the Cause.
The most significant stage of these requests is dated June 1, 1990, when the entire Bishops' Conference of Brazil asked John Paul II to begin the process. I have defined this stage as significant because it attests to the reputation of holiness and its growing spread over time, thus fulfilling a fundamental condition for the introduction of a cause for canonization. The 226 signatory bishops highlighted the reasons that had led them to the solidarity request, considering the example of the virtuous habitus of the Bishop of Rome, Albino Luciani, who showed himself to be a "typical synthesis of the man of God, who is full of humanity and at the same time fullness of Christ "and as such he" was an apostle of the Council, whose teachings he explained with crystalline lucidity and translated the directives rightly into practice ". Therefore "our most intimate conviction - the Brazilian bishops concluded in conclusion - is that we are interpreting the favorable judgment of many other brothers in the episcopate, and translating a very lively aspiration of the faithful of the Church of Brazil, as of Catholics from all over the world" .
The times, however, were evidently not yet ripe. Unfortunately, that important petition from one of the numerically most important episcopates in the world did not move anything. The Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, in fact, replied to the bishop of Belluno-Feltre, Maffeo Ducoli, that the start of the process seemed premature, as the cases concerning other Popes were already underway (Pius IX, John XXIII, Paul VI).
A turning point was the initiative of Ducoli's second successor, the Salesian bishop Msgr. Vincenzo Savio, who in 2002, on the eve of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the death of John Paul I, obtained the consent to begin the trial in Belluno and not in Rome, the competent seat as the place where the Candidate for the Altars had died. In fact, Luciani had lived his entire life - except for the last 34 days of his pontificate - in Veneto, between Canale d'Agordo, Belluno, Vittorio Veneto and Venice, and therefore this exception was more than justified. The investigation therefore began on November 22, 2003 and closed on November 10, 2006. The diocesan process was divided into 203 sessions, during which - in the episcopal sees of Belluno, Vittorio Veneto, Venice and Rome - 167 witnesses were examined, all de visu with the exception of one, of which nine ex officio and to which are added the depositions of three experts of the Historical Commission. This, in the Roman phase of the Cause, was followed by another supplementary one, in 2007, conducted by the vice postulator, Dr. Stefania Falasca, at the patriarchal see of Venice to integrate the investigation of the sources with the acquisition of further documentation. , in particular the papers of the Private Archives of Albino Luciani, now the patrimony of the John Paul I Vatican Foundation. New extra-trial depositions of twenty-one other witnesses were also acquired, with particular reference to the period of the pontificate and to the death of John Paul I, of which one The testimony of Pope Benedict XVI plays an entirely exceptional role due to its historical unicum so far, as it is the first time that a pope has issued a testimony face to face on another Pope and that of Sister Margherita Marin, who lived with John Paul I for a month together with the other three sisters who took care of the papal apartment.
On 17 October 2016, the five substantial volumes of the Positio with a total of over three thousand five hundred pages were deposited at the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints. On November 8, 2017, Pope Francis authorized the publication of the Decree concerning the heroic virtues of Pope Luciani, who thus became "Venerable".
At the end of November of that same year, the diocesan inquiry, launched the previous year by the vice postulator, in the case of the alleged extraordinary healing, which took place in 2011 of a girl for whom it had been proposed, also concluded in Buenos Aires. imminent death due to severe refractory epilepsy and septic shock. Here we have the priest José Dabusti who prayed for her healing by obtaining the miracle, and we will listen to his testimony. On October 13, 2021, Pope Francis authorized the Dicastery to promulgate the Decree concerning the miracle. The medical council of the same Dicastery had previously recognized, unanimously, that this is an inexplicable story for science. It was the step that paved the way for the beatification that we are about to celebrate.
Nineteen years of work: the cause of Pope Luciani, even if it opened 25 years after his death, was neither longer than others, nor shorter and easier than others, for being a Pontiff of the Church. It was a research without discounts: accurate, conscientious, scrupulous, conducted with a historical-critical method, on the basis of a serious and comprehensive investigation of archival sources, a targeted bibliographic research and a rich testimonial panorama. Everything was done according to the canonical rules, with science and conscience on the part of those who worked there for years with passion and dedication. The sources then made it possible to write the first complete biography1
Allow me now to say a word about the heart of this Cause, that is, about the holiness of Albino Luciani, whom I personally met as a seminarian and then as a priest. He was my bishop and I have the best memory of him: a man of assiduous and profound prayer, of attentive listening and capable of human and spiritual support, as a pastor of priests and people of God, learned and prepared as a teacher of the faith and a good communicator. of the Word of God, friend and brother of priests, visitor of the sick and incomparable catechist. I would highlight three characteristics of Luciani: a priest who prayed, who lived poorly and who felt at ease with people. In relation to poverty my mother used to quote, sometimes, Monsignor Luciani, to say that the priest should not have bank accounts and check books. I think she had heard this from himself in the periodic visits and meetings of the parents in the seminary.
The holiness of Pope Luciani is important for the Church and for today's world because through his example we are called to the heart of the Christian life: to the humility and goodness of those who know how to recognize themselves as sinners in need of mercy, of those who want to serve with dedication. generous and with works of good others, announcing the joy of the Gospel. Luciani testifies to us the face of a humble, hardworking and serene Church, concerned about following her Lord, far from the frequent temptation to measure the incidence and value of the Gospel from the state of opinion of the people, or of society, towards itself. But there is a final element that I would like to point out: Albino Luciani taught us through his testimony as a bishop, that he has at heart the universal dimension of the Church, the importance of generous love and unconditional obedience to the Successor of Peter, as well as the great value of unity and episcopal communion. Several episodes in his biography tell us of this attitude, the fruit of his profound faith, which recognizes the importance of ecclesial communion, sometimes lived in sacrifice and in the renunciation of personal positions and perceptions, for the good of the Church and her innate vocation. to the unity, so desired by Jesus at the Last Supper. In the preface to the volume on the Magisterium of John Paul I - which now presents for the first time the complete and integral corpus of the texts and documents of John Paul I during his pontificate, a fundamental service that was carried out for the care of the Vatican Foundation John Paul I - Pope Francis, taking up the words of the holy bishop Oscar Romero, affirms that: «the Successor of Peter is the rock of consistency on which the Church that Christ himself builds, with the gift of his grace, takes unity. And if the gates of hell and death do not prevail, this does not happen because of the Pope's "fragile shoulders", but because the Pope "is supported by the One who is eternal life, immortal, holy, divine: Jesus Christ, our Lord ”. And this is the mystery that shines also in the story and in the teachings of John Paul I »2
1 Stefania FALASCA, Davide FIOCCO, Mauro VELATI, «Io sono la polvere» Giovanni Paolo I 1912-1978, Biografia ex documentis, ed. San Paolo, Cinisello Balsamo 2022.
2 GIOVANNI PAOLO I, Il Magistero, Testi e documenti del Pontificato, a cura della Fondazione Vaticana Giovanni Paolo I, con Prefazione di Papa Francesco, ed LEV-San Paolo, Città del Vaticano-Cinisello Balsamo 2022, p.7.
Speech by Fr Davide Fiocco
1. A great event for a small diocese
Belluno-Feltre is a small diocese - about 180,000 inhabitants - but in these days it is experiencing this event that concerns it with intimate joy.
A journey that began several years ago reaches its goal, thanks to the intuition and foresight of Msgr. Vincenzo Savio, bishop from 2001 to 2004. Opening the diocesan synod in 2003, he invited his diocese to rediscover the holiness that flourished in its valleys, in particular the journey of "don Albino" - as he is still called - which was the more evident testimony. The bishop saw in it "the possibility of deepening the context of family and local faith in which Albino Luciani had grown up"; and again he highlighted "the particularity of the formation of the seminaries of Feltre and Belluno, from which prominent figures emerged in those years, in particular the Jesuit Father Felice Cappello and Father Romano Bottegal". From this impulse the canonization process was born, which exceptionally was initiated in the native diocese, rather than in that of death.
2. The relic
The relic comes from the Albino Luciani Private Archive, now the patrimony of the John Paul Vatican Foundation, which will be brought to the Pope during the beatification ceremony. It is the outline of a reflection that Luciani dictated in 1956 on the three theological virtues, which will be significantly resumed in the audiences of September 1978.
The reliquary was designed and built by the sculptor Franco Murer, an artist from Falcade, a fellow countryman of Albino Luciani. He made a highly symbolic choice of materials: for the base he chose a stone collected in the valley floor of Canale d’Agordo, a symbol of that family and parish foundation, on which the young Albino based his life choices. The base is surmounted by the representation of a cross carved in a log of wood, obtained from the crashes of the Vaia storm (October 2018): it represents the hardships of Luciani's existence, on which Providence was able to trace a path of holiness. The simplicity of the realization gives due prominence to the autographed writing of the future Blessed, set in the Christian symbol par excellence, the Cross.
After the beatification, the relic with the reliquary will be kept in the Cathedral of Belluno, where Albino Luciani served from 1943 to 1958 and where, on November 23, 2003, the Cause of Beatification and Canonization was solemnly opened.
A return home, a return to the origins of his preaching, a return to the roots.
3. The roots of Pope Luciani's holiness
And in fact - in the wake of what Msgr. Savio - the beatification of John Paul I requires us to reconsider also the background, in which the roots of his holiness lie, with a look at the parish community of origin.
We know that in those decades between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were difficult years, marked by emigration, by the First World War, by a subsistence economy. However - in spite of many vulgates, which too often praised the humility and provinciality of the native country - historical research tells of the vitality of a borderland, which was the seat of economic and social initiatives that boast the primogeniture even at the level of national and above all it was a breeding ground of personalities of a certain importance.
It is no coincidence that during the Second Vatican Council - perhaps unique in the world - this small mountain parish counted three prelates among the Council Fathers: Msgr. Luciani, bishop of Vittorio Veneto; Father Saba De Rocco († 1984), general of the Somascans; Msgr. Giovanni Battista Costa († 1996), son of emigrants and first bishop of Porto Velho in Brazil.
Witness of the cultural vitality of the Pieve di Canale d’Agordo is also the parish library, formed with the bequests of various parish priests. He attests to a surprising variety of interests, ranging from theology to the exact sciences, books in German, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese vocabulary and grammar and even works that, strictly speaking, were among the "forbidden books".
The parish priests mainly supported the social and cultural vitality of the context. Don Antonio Della Lucia († 1906), standard bearer of social cooperativism, should be mentioned, who in 1872 founded the first cooperative social dairy in Italy and was a proponent of the literacy of the population; he is the trainer of Albino Luciani's trainers.
Don Filippo Carli († 1934), the teacher of the future Blessed, should also be remembered. It was he who taught him the need for an understandable language, an instance that Luciani had as a guiding star right up to the hearings in the Nervi Room. It was he who in 1931 commissioned the young cleric Albino Luciani to catalog the library, compiling and reviewing over 1,200 volumes: and he did it on his own, even allowing himself some ambitious slating, inflamed by the ardor of the neophyte student. This inventory was a significant piece for the solid humanistic and theological preparation that Luciani, aided by a formidable memory, will possess with mastery throughout his life.
Finally, if Don Filippo gave the future pope a pastoral imprint, we should also remember the bishops and superiors of the Belluno seminary who invested in the young Agordino priest, encouraging him to prepare himself in Rome. This is what the diocese of Belluno-Feltre remembers with gratitude.
4. The involvement of the local Church
At these Roman days there will be a large representation of Belluno people, authorities and faithful, who will join the diocese of Rome in the vigil on Saturday 3 September and above all will participate in the celebration on Sunday morning. It will be Bishop Renato Marangoni to formulate the petition for beatification, in the name of the diocese that was the plaintiff of the Cause.
During the spring and summer there were various moments of preparation for this event, of which we feel the historical importance. Just think that in the martyrology up to now there is only one faithful from our diocese, Blessed Bernardino da Feltre († 1494).
On Sunday 11 September the celebration of thanksgiving is scheduled in the square of his birthplace, Canale d 'Agordo. It will be chaired by the Patriarch of Venice with the bishops of Belluno-Feltre and Vittorio Veneto at the side. During the next autumn, the vicariates into which the diocese is divided have been invited to organize a pilgrimage to their native town.
In the meantime, the works for the liturgical adaptation of the cathedral of Belluno have entered the execution phase: it is the church in which Luciani served for 15 years. In 1980 it was elevated to the rank of minor basilica by John Paul II, in honor of his predecessor. The beatification itself gave impetus to this artistic project.
The diocese also feels the commitment to support theological studies at the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences, which it shares with the dioceses of Treviso and Vittorio Veneto and which is dedicated to the memory of John Paul I.
Finally, beatification is above all a delivery that the native diocese feels it receives, to take on the style of the new blessed. In a particular way, it collects the lifestyle and ministry of Pope Luciani, solemnly confirmed in the beatification. The diocese wants to measure itself on this style in the synodal journey that it is making together with the universal Church, renewing in particular - as has been requested in the synodal groups and in the diocesan synthesis - a commitment of proclamation and catechesis.
In the same direction, after the pandemic, the Pope Luciani Center in Santa Giustina will also regain momentum, a structure born 40 years ago as a center of evangelization: in line with the spirit of "Don Albino", our diocese did not dedicate a monument to him, but a place of catechesis and Christian formation.

Testimony of Dr. Lina Petri

For my part I would just like to say a few memories.

My uncle Albino became bishop when I was two. I remember very little from when I was very young, so obviously I know very well that he stopped at our house in Levico, passing through for some engagement in Trentino. They were sudden and short visits, but they left Mom happy. My brother and I can say that we met the uncle in those years through the stories of the mother. She told us about their childhood in Canale and in particular about many episodes of the hard period of war and resistance. There are so many episodes that have remained impressed on me, including the one that my uncle commented on the meeting between Mussolini and Hitler that they had at Villa Gaggia, between Feltre and Belluno, in July 1943. In a loud voice in front of others he said: "Siòn ente man de doi matt. We are in the hands of two madmen ». During those terrible years of the occupation, of the roundups, I know that my uncle had also worked in Belluno to hide people in danger, Jews.

At the time of the Council, our mother made us pray so that "the Lord would enlighten him". Whenever he was in Rome for a session, his uncle would send a postcard, just the signature, often the phrase "a blessing greeting". He always maintained this habit, even in the following years. I was already grown up when I noticed that often the postcard was always the same and depicted the basilica of Sant’Antonio in via Merulana: a small attention to my mother who was called Antonia.

When I was 15 my uncle invited me to spend a few days during the Christmas holidays with him in the patriarch in Venice. Those days marked the beginning of a friendship for me. So, during the years of high school and university, from 1970 to 1978, I went to him in Venice many times. He urged me to go and see him when I wanted. He inquired about my problems, he was interested in my studies. I remember that at the beginning of high school she asked me if I liked Saint Thomas or Saint Augustine more and in seeing me disoriented about it, she sadly recorded a decline in teaching compared to her times ... She often spoke to me about Saint Augustine, she said that he felt closer to him, that to understand his works it was necessary to know his life and the experience he had made of sin and God's mercy. .

He often repeated to me that he was particularly attached to my affection for my mother, who had sacrificed herself so much for him and had to emigrate to work. But I have always known my uncle as poor: in the patriarchate of Venice, beyond the "historical" furnishings, there was nothing sumptuous or of particular value. When he arrived in Venice he had had to furnish the guest rooms, having the relatives of the patriarch Urbani taken away what belonged to the cardinal. "But you - he told us - when I die you don't take anything away, even if they are things I bought out of my own pocket." Even in dressing he was extremely sober. It happened that Sister Vincenza sometimes passed to my mother her woolen vests, socks, shirts, now worn and mended several times, which were then used by my father, a bricklayer, at work. Sister Vincenza, the nun who followed him from Vittorio Veneto to Rome, said that it was the only way to "make those worn out linens disappear" without her uncle complaining to continue using them.

Many times I went to see him alone. Also in those years he invited my family (my parents, my brother and me) to spend Christmas and Easter with him. During those meetings, the mother invariably expressed all her worries about the bad moment she was experiencing: the protests of the post-1968 period, the terrorism, the protests against the Pope. for you". Her uncle, however, proved to be serene, encouraged her and told her: «Nina, stay calm, the Church over the centuries has overcome even more serious and difficult moments because it is the Lord who guides her. He is always there ". And he added: "What is Tradition over the centuries remains and returns, always". Sister Vincenza told me that her uncle told her: «I learned the truths of the faith as a child, they have remained the same, they are always the same, and have not changed since I became a priest until now. And it is this Word of God, which is immutable, that we must proclaim, not ours ». She told us to continue to pray the Rosary in the family, "even if everyone now says that it is an outdated prayer". She asked us in particular to pray for Paul VI, who suffered from misunderstandings.
The patriarch often hosted cardinals from various parts of the world. I remember one of his visits to Cardinal Marty of Paris. Once my uncle gave me a statue of the Madonna, a copy of that of Notre Dame, which he received as a gift from the archbishop of Paris who had been to him the previous day. He had hosted Cardinal Thiandoum more than once in Venice, and he had told me about that African bishop. He told me that these visits opened a horizon of greater breadth to him. More than once he also told me that he would have liked to have a mission experience in Africa and that he would not mind imitating Cardinal Léger who in 1968 had renounced the episcopal see of Montreal to serve lepers in Cameroon. He said that later he thought of asking the Pope too.

In the autumn of 1975 I stopped by to say goodbye before leaving for Rome, a freshman at the university and before he left for the trip to Brazil. It was the first days of November, a day or two after the killing of Pier Paolo Pasolini. The bishop of Udine, Msgr. Alfredo Battisti, to ask for advice on whether or not to celebrate his religious funeral. The circumstances of his death were scandalous and it struck me very much how my uncle assessed the situation: «Let us leave his life conduct to the judgment of the Lord. All of us, without exception, need his mercy. However, his artistic works "he said" spoke for him and on the other hand, in Friuli, as a young man, he had been attached to Christian practice, and it was right that returning now to his land, the Church would welcome him with a Christian burial " . I was struck by his evaluation criterion that first of all did not condemn, but saved the good and this clear explanation of him, as a true shepherd, struck me.

I met him one last time in Venice on the evening of 5 August 1978, I was passing through on a vacation with university friends and he just returned to the patriarchate from a few days spent at the Alberoni, where he always went in the summer for a little rest. During dinner, I told him about the death of a university friend of mine from leukemia. I remember his face telling me that we must always be ready, because death can come at any moment: "The important thing is always with the Lord" he told me that evening, which was also a habitual phrase with which he greeted me. always when I was leaving. Towards the end of the dinner on that August 5th, they called him on the phone and on returning he told me that he had heard that Paul VI was not well. I stayed asleep in the patriarchy. In the morning my uncle told me that he had heard from Rome that he had gotten worse. He greeted me with the recommendation to pray for the Pope. I then saw him again in the audience with family members on 2 September and in the official meetings the following day. As a simple faithful I was also present at the Mass for the taking of possession in San Giovanni in Laterano on 23 September. In the month of his pontificate, his uncle's serene and wise behavior remained the same as always. In the private meeting with us family members, on September 2, he immediately reassured us by saying: "I didn't do anything to get here. So you are calm as I am calm ». After all, this has always been his attitude in tune with his lifestyle.

I finally saw him lying in his bed after his death. I remember his room in the papal apartment ... from where I was sitting I looked at him and in front of me on the right - between the two corner windows of the room - the desk ... there was only a crucifix and a photograph of his parents, my grandparents maternal, holding my cousin Pia, their first granddaughter.
Testimony of Sister Margherita Marin

Religious of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mary Child, assistant at the papal apartment during the month of the pontificate of John Paul I

I saw John Paul I for the first time two days after his election, together with the other sisters of our community called to provide assistance at the papal apartment. Until that moment I had never had the opportunity to meet him personally. Even if Luciani was known to us, because from the time of his episcopate in Vittorio Veneto he had with him the nuns of Maria Bambini.

He welcomed us with simplicity, without putting us in awe. He told us to pray, that the Lord had given him a burden, but that with his help and our prayers he would carry it forward. Knowing that I was the youngest of the nuns, I was 37, he said to him: "I'm sorry I took some young nuns away." He treated us immediately with familiarity. I remember that the day following our arrival they sent me together with the secretary Fr. Magee to withdraw the vestments and to close the Pope's private chapel, the one where Paul VI used to celebrate mass in the morning with his secretaries, because John Paul I instead wanted the morning mass to be celebrated in the private chapel inside the apartment and we sisters were also present together with the secretaries: "We are a family and we celebrate together," she said.

On the day of the solemn mass for the beginning of his pontificate, he also welcomed the nuns who had been with him in the patriarchate in Venice for lunch. He always showed a lot of respect for us sisters. I took care in particular of the cloakroom and the sacristy, but I also performed other services when needed. Sister Cecilia was the cook, Sister Vincenza was a nurse, while Sister Elena coordinated our work. Sister Vincenza was the eldest, she had known the Holy Father for many years, she had known him in Belluno at the time when she, a young priest, had health problems and gave him assistance as a nurse; when he later became a bishop, he requested a small community of Maria Bambini nuns for the episcopal apartment and wished that she too would be there to assist him. Sister Vincenza also followed him to Venice and was the only one of the nuns who were with him in Venice to come to the Vatican. Sister Vincenza she told us that she was not so happy she agreed to come, because she already felt old, but then she was fine. She had had health problems and the Holy Father, I remember her, told us: "You know, Sister Vincenza is suffering from heart and I told her not to walk a lot and also to take the personal lift if she needs her" .

During that month I have always seen him calm, serene, safe. It seemed that he had always been Pope. Even in prayer it was seen that he was united to the Lord. He knew how to treat his collaborators with a lot of respect, apologizing for disturbing them. I've never seen him have gestures of impatience with anyone, ever. He instilled courage. He was friendly to everyone.

He got up early in the morning, around 5.00. Then he went to the chapel to pray for an hour and a half. Always being there nearby, we sisters could see him from the outside. He always prayed alone, the secretaries came down later for mass. Mass was celebrated at 7.00. While the Holy Father was in the chapel we nuns recited the praises in the sitting room next to the kitchen, then we too went to the chapel for mass. During the celebration he did not give homilies. I remember instead that some times, when he had to celebrate mass somewhere on that day, he let Father Magee celebrate in his place, and he attended as a simple altar boy. He respected the Eucharistic fast, so only after Mass did he have breakfast. After breakfast he was entertained in his study to read the newspapers and at around 9.00 he went down for the hearings. Lunch was around 12.30, then he retired for the afternoon rest. In the afternoon he usually stayed in the apartment; he studied, read and walked reading. Sometimes he even went upstairs to the hanging garden, a few times he went down to the Vatican gardens. Cardinal Villot once said to him: "Your Holiness, if you go down to the gardens we must close and not let anyone pass." "So," replied the Holy Father, "if you have to close ... I'll stay here." And so most of the time he stayed at home. He received on his request some people. Before dinner he would recite Vespers with the secretaries, often reciting them in English. Dinner was around 7.30pm. We nuns did not serve at the table, for this reason the room assistant Angelo Gugel was there. He then said compline with them, and while we were still tidying up the refectory, he came to greet us. Every evening. I remember that he always recommended prayers to us for the many needs in the world, he always asked me something about the preparation of the liturgy of the following day; then he wished us good night, always greeting us with these words: "See you tomorrow, Sisters, if the Lord wants we can celebrate Mass together". He retired early.

The last day was like the others. In the morning he went into the chapel to pray at the usual time and celebrated Holy Mass with us at seven. He had breakfast normally, then stopped for a while to read the newspapers, then went downstairs for the morning hearings. At about 11.30 he went back up to the apartment and I remember that he came to the kitchen, as he often did, asking us for a coffee: «Sisters, do you have a coffee? Could you make me a coffee? ». He sat down and took his coffee and then went into his study. He had lunch with the secretaries and then retired for his usual afternoon rest. That afternoon he always stayed at home there, he never moved from the apartment and did not receive anyone because he told us that he was preparing a document for the bishops. But I don't know which bishops he was addressed to. I remember it well because that afternoon I was ironing in the wardrobe with the door open and I saw him go back and forth. He walked into the apartment with the papers in his hand that he was reading, every now and then he stopped for a few notes and then resumed walking reading and, walking, he passed in front of where I was. I remember seeing me ironing and he also said to me: "Sister, I make you work a lot ... but don't iron your shirt so well because it's hot, I sweat and you have to change them often ... iron only the collar and the wrists that the rest you do not see mica knows ... ». He had told me in the Venetian dialect, as he often used with us.

After dinner he received a call from the Cardinal of Milan Giovanni Colombo. Already in the morning I had heard the Holy Father talking to Father Magee about this phone call. And after dinner, the Holy Father went to answer the phone and spoke with the cardinal. I don't remember exactly how long he stayed in that conversation, maybe half an hour. After he came to us, as he always did, to greet us before retiring to his study. I remember that he asked me what mass I had prepared for him for the following day and I replied: «That of the Angels». He wished us good night with the words he repeated to us every evening: "See you tomorrow, Sisters, if the Lord wills, let's celebrate Mass together."

I have still imprinted in my memory a detail of that moment there: we were all together in the sitting room with the door open, the door was right in front of that of the private study, and when, after having already greeted us, the Holy Father was at the door of the study , he turned once more and greeted us again, with a wave of his hand, smiling ... I seem to see him still there at the door. Serene as always. It is the last image I carry of him.

Testimony of Father Juan José Dabusti

A question was often asked to me - starting with the vice-postulator of the Cause even before she came to Buenos Aires to open the canonical process for ascertaining the miracle - and then by many journalists who also repeated it to Roxana Sosa and her daughter. Candela from 13 October 2021, that is, since the Church recognized the miracle of healing performed through the intercession of John Paul I. The question is this: why John Paul I? And others that accompanied this "healthy curiosity":

Why did you pray to John Paul I when there are so many saints in Argentina?

Why did it occur to you that day to invoke him?
What inspired you, what prompted you to pray to him?

Certainly the questions are not just these. Many others were born. And these are questions that have helped me. In recent months, since the approval of the miracle and the announcement of the beatification of John Paul I, I have been able to deepen in my personal prayer, in conversations with many people, in the testimonies given to what happened on that 22 July 2011.

I can tell you that three lines intersect to weave this miracle of God that had Pope Luciani as an intercessor. I like to call these three lines this way: a historical line; a spiritual line; an ecclesial line.

These three lines that meet are included in this simple testimony to tell that evening of July 22, 2011 when I was called by a mother, Roxana, to go to the bedside of her dying daughter, and looking at her in those conditions I was inspired to turn to John Paul I to ask for the healing of his child, and together with her, and some nurses present, I prayed to him.

Until that moment I had never prayed to John Paul I for a healing. But his figure had to do with my vocation. In August 1978, at just 13 years old and at the beginning of my adolescence, I was really impressed by the election and the person of Pope Luciani: I saw that he was very simple and very happy. These two traits had captured my attention and aroused my admiration, above all, my spontaneous affection for him.

I remember that, in those first days of his pontificate, the media sent news, videos and photos of John Paul I. It was thus that, on a door of a wardrobe in my room, I placed, together with other prints, his portrait. . And sometimes, looking at this portrait, I prayed for him.

I also keep in my memory the impact that his sudden death caused me.

Growing up, I begged him to help me discern the vocation to follow. To be a priest or what? ... And I am sure that Albino Luciani was a mysterious spiritual father and a silent but effective intercessor for me in deciding to embrace the priestly vocation. Over the years, having become a priest in 1991, the presence of John Paul I has always had its place in my spirituality, more or less strong.

The historical and ecclesial lines began to merge in the autumn of 2011, finding myself as parish priest in the parish of Our Lady of La Rábida in the center of Buenos Aires. In those months I noticed a lady who frequently came to pray and on several occasions, at noon, participated in the Eucharist. She was Roxana Sosa. Her 11-year-old daughter was taken in serious condition to the health center near the parish, a renowned hospital in Argentina and throughout South America: the Favaloro Foundation. I went to the rooms of that hospital, visiting the sick and their families, when I was called to them.

It was then that Roxana told me about the serious illness she had in her daughter Candela: a malignant refractory epilepsy. She came from the city of Paraná, more than 500 km from Buenos Aires. She came alone to visit her daughter during the week. On Saturdays and Sundays the other two twin daughters traveled with her to keep him company with her.

So I started to accompany Roxana: we talked and prayed together. In all Masses I asked the community to pray above all for Candela's health. I remember having approached the pediatric intensive care unit several times where the little girl was intubated. On that fifth floor, with Roxana, we shared the sacrament of anointing that I administered to her next to Candela's bed, the blessings and sadness for the desperate conditions of the child. An exemplary strength I have seen spring from the heart of this mother.

On July 22 around noon, while I was in the parish, Roxana came to tell me that the doctors had just told her that Candela had contracted a virus in the hospital. She had pneumonia, septic shock and they didn't think she would survive the night. Roxana asked me to go ... to pray once more ... to bless her ...

Together we went to the hospital and entered the intensive care unit. I don't remember, at that moment, how close medical personnel were to Candela's bed. We approached Candela's body, which was in a fetal position, weighing no more than 19 pounds. And here I stop. I have to stop because these three intersecting lines get lost in ... how to put it in words? In a few points. And in another line that is the mystery. Why did I propose to Roxana that she pray John Paul I there to intercede for Candela's life and healing? I do not know. It was the Holy Spirit.
It is common for us priests to find ourselves in these terminal situations in people's lives. When we visit hospitals, nursing homes, we are continually faced with the reality of death. This is why I affirm that it was certainly a motion of the Spirit that prompted me to propose this prayer there at that moment to John Paul I.

Roxana knew nothing of Pope Luciani. Since we were in intensive care, the explanation I gave her asking for her intercession to save Candela's life was very short. So together, she and I and two nurses present put our hands on Candela's body and I prayed spontaneously. I don't remember exactly the words I said. I asked the Lord, through the intercession of John Paul I, to heal Candela.

The next day, Roxana came to the parish and told me that her daughter had not only spent the night, but that there were clear signs of improvement. Days and weeks passed and Candela continued her healing. Until I lost contact with them because she was discharged and returned to Paraná. I want to share with you that I have always kept this fact alive. Internally I was certain of a special intervention by John Paul I.

Things remained in a provident silence until the end of 2014, when I found Roxana and Candela in the parish of La Rábida. It was a great joy for me to see a girl of almost 15 full of life that I did not recognize her and her mother. They came to greet me. Roxana wanted Candela to meet me and also to see how she recovered, healed. That afternoon I asked Roxana if she remembered who we had prayed for. And then I added: «It seems to me that one day we will have to denounce this marvelous fact».

Muchas gracias.