Anecdotes and Testimonies of Pope Luciani
† Dedicated to the memory of Msgr. Vincenzo Savio, Bishop of Belluno-Feltre, passed away on March 31st, 2004.
Dear friend, don Vincenzo:
Yesterday, I've been in Belluno to tell you good bye. Even if I remained outside of the Dome, very crowded, I have waited to be able to greet you. I have heard with emotion my Patriarch, Cardinal Scola's words, and, at the end of the Mass, the testimonies of your grandaughter regarding the last days and the last hours of your earthly life and also that one of your brother-in-law. I did not think about having to greet you... so soon.... in that coffin... I prayed for you! Do you remember when last August 26th, during the celebrations for the XXV Anniversary of election of Pope Luciani, I had asked you how you were? And you have answered me you were enough well and then I have told you there were many people who prayed for you and you have said thanks? In spite of the seriousness of your disease, I had hope! But it's known, the ways of the Lords are not ours. The last half of your Episcopate in Belluno has been marked by the Via Crucis. You have gone ahead, in spite of the suffering, to make your duty of pastor. You have not wanted to abandon your flock. You have been courageous, you know? You succeed on making many things in a little time! Also that one of having listened the strong desire of many people all over the world who asked the beatification of Pope Luciani since many years ago! How much joy I have felt last November 23th when I saw you sign the proceedings documents together with don Giorgio and the other Priests in charge! It was the last time I have seen you still alive... Who knows if Pope Luciani has gone and met you in Paradise with his very beautiful smile and has asked you: "But what have you done?" And perhaps you have answered him: "Sorry, but people insisted!" I love to imagine this meeting between don Albino and you. I think he will have pardoned you because, now, nothing to do, the process has already started.
And so we find ourselves, dear don Vincenzo, as usual, wishing to decipher the designs of God without any success... The Lord knows what He does and if He does like that, it is not the first time it happens (we have seen that with Pope Luciani), will be for the sake of us. In so a little time in Belluno, you succeed on being loved!
I tell you, as I have told you on November 23th, rather, I repeat you: "Thanks, thanks for all you have done for Pope Luciani!"
Gloria C. Molinari
Venice, April 3rd, 2004
The author with the group of "Amici di Papa Luciani" and Msgr. Savio
August 26th, 2003
Interview appeared on "Famiglia Cristiana"
Where must the holiness of Luciani be searched, Excellence?
"Sure not in evident gestures, as in some great Saints, but in his ordinary holiness. To that holiness, that is, which the letter of John Paul II, Novo millennio ineunte, recalls us. The exemplary teachment is: be youself and make your duty until the end, even if it will cost suffering. What it counts is not my person, but what the Lord has called me to become. And, in a world of social climbers and demagogues, it seems a great message to me. It's his prophecy".
Some time he appeared hard on exercising his duty of Bishop.
"Only for coherence and for duty regarding high requirement. He was man of "yes yes, no no", because he considered that the inner coherence to the plan of God on you is also, at the end, the deeper root of your happiness. For this he accepted to be unpopular, as it happened for certain suffered choices when he was Patriarch of Venice. It is a value to reconsider in these times in which power is exerced by polls. He was not a pro-conveniences man, but his famous smile says a lot that seemed bewitched in meeting the persons as they were always something of wonderful, to love".
Which thing has he brought from his land?
"The ability of going to the essentiality of the things and make every problem relative. From here his style of poverty as life option".
A little considered aspect of his figure?
"His fine culture he knew how to hide making himself simple with the simple ones; and then the remarkable activity of cultural organizer and formation to the associated-political engagement in his land. Few persons remember he was the first one who made the cineforum open in Diocese and he led to politics more than one Bellunese".
Msgr. Savio with one of the little tables with a sheet of
Pope Luciani's book of prayers which were distributed
between the parish Priests of Belluno the day
of the beginning of the Cause of Beatification
Interview appeared on "Avvenire"
Towards the altars: Extraordinary in the "ordinary virtues"
The Bishop of Belluno, Vincenzo Savio, motivates, in this way, the starting of the beatitication process.
From Canale d'Agordo (Belluno)
Why the beatification process? Only for the popular devotion that is growing in the years around Pope Luciani?
It's enough to enter the parish of Canale d'Agordo to realize. The book of testimonies, beside the statue in bronze of John Paul I, comes to an end in few weeks.
"It is important to have Luciani as a companion who introduces us to rediscover the ordinary holiness".
This is, instead, the motivation with which the Bishop of Belluno-Feltre, Monsignor Vincenzo Savio, explains why he has decided, together with his Diocesan Church, to verify if the premises existed in order to open the cause that could take to the altars the most illustrious son of this land.
Cause of beatification that will be introduced officially the next Autumn, while it's in phase of takeover the historical commision and the theological one. And interrogations have already been made.
"In fact, there is a spread perception of the personal holiness of Pope Luciani in the people - Monsignor Savio assures -, in particular of his spiritual power. Luciani is not an exceptional Saint, he is not, that is, a Saint who explains himself by miracles, works and events of who knows which nature and importance. His holiness consists on the exercise of the daily virtues, in the ordinary life".
A holiness he has built in a context of absolute normality: the family, the parochial community, the pastoral life. And "as parish Priest" Luciani has also his episcopal service, of Patriarch in Venice and of Pope in Rome.
"It seems to me that this fact has been wonderful, because it gives hope to us. We trust a lot on him - the Bishop continues - because he gives us the inner power necessary to search with more serenity this life of holiness. For that I'd say with don Bosco: "It is beautiful to be Saints, so we must become Saints". This spirituality, that is born from the ordinary spirituality of the 1800's, becomes just the right holiness for a world like ours overworked, compromised, of ordinarity, exactly".
Luciani, moreover, as educator. One more element for the cause of beatification. According to Monsignor Savio, in fact, "he has made grow around him optimal elements, a staff of engaged laity who have entered in the world of politics, of culture, with competence, really marking the partecipative and social history of our time".
A curiosity: Luciani has been a pioneer in the use of the cineforum in the cultural activity and in the same pastoral. In fact - Savio assures - "he has created around him a staff of persons who still remember him as their educator, even if he neither appeared, nor founded a group".
Luciani, in conclusion, has not done anything of exceptional, but "he has been exceptional in his ordinarity".
Francesco Dal Mas
August 24th, 2003
Home - Anecdotes and Testimonies - Part I - Part II - Part III - Part IV - Part V - Part VI - Part VII - Part VIII - Part IX - Part X - Part XI - Part XII - Part XIII - Part XIV - Part XV
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