The Smiling Pope: this is how Albino Luciani was known, for his humility, authentic soul and innovative determination.
Don Albino: the smile of humility.
He was extremely sociable, friendly and genuine, as befits a man born and raised among the valley folk.
September 4th 2022 is an important date for the entire Biois Valley, a dream come true, with the beatification ceremony in Rome for Pope John Paul I, or Don Albino Luciani, as he is still called by his fellow inhabitants of the Agordino area.
On the following Sunday, 11 September 2022, in his birthplace of Canale D’Agordo, the three dioceses of Belluno-Feltre, Vittorio Veneto and Venice came together to celebrate a mass of thanksgiving for the beatification process, which represents an official acknowledgement of the boundless virtues that continue to guide us down a path of faith in the form of simple words and a sophisticated, contemporary dialogue.
So here we would like to remember the man, the prelate and the preacher; the figure who left an unforgettable trace, an interpretation of the genuine faith of his homeland teamed with a powerful communication style, the key feature of which was humilitas, in the sense not of submissiveness, but rather of apostolic poverty.
The virtue Don Albino was best known for was undoubtedly his ability to talk to people in a familiar, almost fatherly fashion, expressing great empathy and understanding towards everyone. He was the first Pope to converse directly with people during his audiences, in a move away from an ancient ceremony that was undoubtedly ineffective at reaching the hearts of the faithful.
–I am rich in words– he said during an audience as the Patriarch of Venice. He found it unnecessary to prepare speeches, but he used the simple, direct language typical of a mountain priest to express profound, incisive theological concepts.
He earned a place in the history books, in international and religious terms, for his speech during the Angelus prayer regarding the Camp David Middle East peace treaties, in which his simple, humble words expressed one of the concepts the Christian Church is founded on: God is our father; even more he is our mother. This was an audacious statement coming from a Pope, but it made a huge emotional impact, restoring the idea of God’s endless love for His children to the collective imagination.
Don Albino conveyed that Supreme Love in a way that was humble and reserved, yet tenacious and sophisticated in its theological expressions, reminding us with disarming simplicity of something we already know:
–God keeps his eyes on us all the time, however dark the night may seem-.
The Biois Valley Ecomuseum has prepared a cultural walking itinerary through the places dear to Albino Luciani, covering the most important aspects of his intense life and including visits to the Museum dedicated to him, the Musal, and the house he was born in.
For detailed information on the events accompanying the Beatification and on future events:
Papa Luciani Foundation – Canale d’Agordo (Belluno)
web site: www.musal.it
Phone: 0039 0437 1948001 – 0039 377 9665237