Anecdotes and Testimonies of Pope Luciani












Don Ettore Fornezza, a faithful Priest. Member of "Amici di Papa Luciani Fans Club"


"For me, Pope Luciani is a Saint!"



The sacerdotal ordination, June 22th, 1974


  Cardinal Luciani with don Ettore Fornezza



  The author with Massimiliano Piovesan and don Ettore Fornezza in Venice




"Amici..." has met him at Canale d' Agordo on August 26th, 2002 after the Mass of the XXIV Anniversary of the election of Pope Luciani. He was introduced to us by don Licio Boldrin to whom we have also met there, too. The meeting with these two Priests has been very pleasant for Max and me. They have made us live a moment of relax with their jokes and then, together with them, we have gone to make a toast to celebrate the beginning of the first steps for the eventual opening of our don Albino's Process of Beatification.


Don Ettore is parish Priest of San Martino di Castello, Venice. As I live at Sant' Elena's Quarter, we are nearly close, I have the possibility to go often to his parish.


From 1993 he has begun collecting, also him, signatures for the Beatification until reaching the 15,000.


Faithful Priest, yes... to Patriarch Luciani, in the good and in the bad times... he has always been close to him... Some testimony I had already reported on "Anecdotes VII"  but now he has kindly wanted to tell more of them:




He loved his Priests


To my question if don Albino has been happy here, in Venice, he has made a long silence and has told me that with the people he was happy, with the children, too. And with the Priests?, I asked. He has had problems because he had dogmatic outlines to execute and a great part of Venetian Priests had picked up the '68 ideas: on abortion, divorce, pill. Even if he demonstrated to be very strict (...and they thought he was a weak person), he was kind with them. He loved his Priests. Once it has been  the Pastoral Council in Bassano del Grappa: no Priest had taken part of it and the Patriarch remained alone. Only don Ettore was at his side to make him courage.



He always solved the problems


Don Ettore told me he had had problems with his first parish Priest at the Zattere. As a matter of fact, the problem was with the housekeeper who had much influence on the parish Priest. Then don Albino, the day after he knew this matter, has sent don Ettore to another parish and hasn't sent anybody replacing don Ettore. Patriarch Luciani always solved the problems.



The case of the parish of Montaner (TV)


An episode of when don Albino was Bishop of Vittorio Veneto demonstrates how obedience to the Bishop was very important for him. Sweet, but firm. Aware of his authority, don Albino did not shake when sometimes had to take perhaps unpopular decisions. Me myself, during a job interview near an institution of the Venetian Church, when I have explained my work to promote the figure of Pope Luciani, I was told: "Pope Luciani? He was not very loved here. He was too much hard!"


Don Ettore tells that the parish of Montaner, in province of Treviso, needed a new parish Priest. People were very attached to the parochial vicar and thought he would become the new parish Priest. Instead, don Albino thought different: the vicar was not adapted for the place. So the Bishop has appointed another one. Once the news were known, the people of the parish were opposed and decided not to let the new parish Priest pass and walled the entrance of the church up.

As the parish Priest could not take possesion of the church, the following day Bishop Luciani went in person, escorted by carabinieri, took the Holy Sacrament out and closed the church. After some time, the Orthodox took possession of it (N. f. a: Still today, we can see the Orthodox church beside a new one, Catholic).


don Ettore Fornezza

from a talk with the author

November 2002




"He has taught me to be Priest"






- Which is the meaning of the XXV Anniversary of the election of Pope Luciani for you?

- Twenty five years is an important stage because in this time perhaps Pope Luciani was not lost of sight because people have loved him still more and now try to pay attention to these things because also with the beginning of the Cause we have seen the effect at Canale d' Agordo that people have felt this thing in a very positive way.


- Particularly for you, what has Pope Luciani left in your life?

- For me, he is all. As if he had been my dad; that one who is natural, and my second dad, that sacerdotal one, so he has helped me; has taught me to be Priest.


- Do you think the Beatification will be soon?

- Yes, I hope so... I hope so.


don Ettore Fornezza

from a talk with the author

September 2003



Don Ettore with the Patriarch, Card. Angelo Scola, during the visit to the church of San Martino di Castello



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