Anecdotes and Testimonies of Pope Luciani
after his nomination as Patriarch of Venice, Albino Luciani and his secretary
had stopped their car to pick up two persons who were hitch-hiking. Although
they did not recognise the Prelate, his kind gesture untied their tongues.
They commented on the recent nomination of the Bishop of Vittorio Veneto
to the Patriarchal chair of Venice: " But, after all, who is this Luciani ?
No-one had ever heard of him. Someone other than the Bishop of Vittorio Veneto
should be governing Venice ". Monsignor Luciani did not reveal
his name and, during the trip, speaking kindly, he explained how the ways of the
Lord were not those of men and how the Will of the Lord would not always agree
with mortals' expectations. How exactly he said this isnít known, but he had
to be very convincing if both of them, at the end of the route, were warmly
thankful and they told him: "There is a Priest like you should be the
Patriarch ! ".
L'Osservatore Romano, Oct 10th, 1978
will be called Gregorio XVII
The new Cardinal Albino Luciani was in Belluno for the celebration of San Gregorio Magno, Patron of his old Seminary. After the liturgical celebration, the Priests (more than a hundred) met for a fraternal lunch in the Seminary refectory. The toast was made by Monsignor Antonio De Lotte, the oldest Priest of the diocese of Belluno. With his voice still steady as an optimal preacher, he sang the praises of the neo-Cardinal projecting them in the future and saying very textually: " You have made us use the names of Eminence, Patriarch, Bishop, Monsignor, Vice-director, chaplain; donít let us put limits to the Divine Providence; we wish to be able to call you by the name of Gregorio XVII " ( note : Gregorio XVI was from bellunese origin ) ". A deafening applause submerged Monsignor De Lotte, while Cardinal Luciani, amused, moved his head, holding his cutlery nervously.
from " L'Amico del Popolo ", 1978
The wine with ' additives ' can make someone feel really bad !
night, he eagerly drank a full glass of it in one go. I thought that he had a
fever, but it was another thing. At the end of the course of exercises, I knew
that someone had inadvertently dropped some detergent into the wine. Probably,
Don Albino had drunk it in such a way because the taste was bad. More likely, he
had felt, consequently, badly enough during the night, but he had not said
from " La Sorgente ", 1981
Warning : Nuns very dangerous !
|Monsignor Luciani and a group of Sisters in Vittorio Veneto|
The Patriarch with Brazilian Sisters
I am in Villa Immacolata since 1973. In Padova, at the Hospital Nunís
community, was also his ' little aunt ', sister Roberta Tancon. When this
sister became ill, he (the Patriarch) came to visit her. Not very often, due to
the many engagements he had. When he came, he remained a very little time with
the aunt because the Nuns 'robbed' him. So much that I often have heard to
sister Roberta complaining : " Sempre voialtre andť a parlar con me
nevodo e mi non posso mai ", oppure: " Ma xe possibie Che ogni volta
Che vien me nevodo tute le suore ghe saltŠ dosso, e a mi gnanca na paroeta".
(" You are always going to speak with my nephew and I never can " or
also " But, is it possible that whenever my nephew comes, all the Nuns jump
around him, and I am lacking a little word ?"). She died (when he was in
Rome), on June 12th , 1973 ".
Simplicity and appreciation
Last time I saw him was when finishing the exercises of the Bishops of Triveneto in June ' 78. He came to greet us, the kitchen Nuns : "Smell," he said, smiling " what a good little smell ! What beautiful casseroles ! Thanks for everything, you know ? I am not worthy ". He left by the trades-mens' entrance".
Gianna M. Marchi
from " La Difesa del Popolo ", August 26th, 1979
we returned late to the Seminary, at about 9.00p.m., and we had to bear a 'sermon'
from the Vice-Director, don Mario Coletti. Explaining the situation, everything
was put right immediately. A few days later, a basket of cherries arrived at our
table from the farmers who wanted to thank us ".
from " L'Amico del Popolo ", 1978
Luciani saw within the problems, very quickly. However, he also, like the rest
of mortals, had his limits. I want to give an example. Personally, in
evaluating events and people and taking a decision, I have always been a 'placid
pedestrian '. Luciani, perhaps, was however more impulsive. It still seems to me
to see him when, in certain circumstances, I watched him over and under the
Emeritus Bishop of Belluno-Feltre
Bishop of Belluno-Feltre
farmer in difficulties
He (Luciani, Bishop of Vittorio Veneto) had chosen to live in the middle of the
people, as a father, brother and friend. Like the shepherd of the flock, he felt
isolated and cut-off in his Episcopal residence in the castle of San Martino,
located high and outside the city. The magnificent view of the greenery, the
trees and the vineyards around Vittorio Veneto did not console him from
his isolation, because he was convinced that he would have been a better
shepherd if he had lived in the middle of his flock. Luciani was made like that,
and once, he hurried with his secretary to help a farmer who, from his window,
he had seen in difficulties as he dragged his cart full of cut grass along a
very steep footpath ".
Priests, he mainly requested obedience, exemplariness and moderation. He had his
monthly conferences with clergy with rare competition. In one of these, he made
the following exhortation :
Priests, do not waste too much time in front of the TV where suspicious women
appear; they are not ugly at all, understand ? ". A deafening laughter
preceded the applause ".
signs of humility
Luciani in a course of spiritual exercises in Villa Immacolata at Torreglia,
He did not accept anything, he did not want anything, he did not request
anything : almost that still the simplest service, to which he had a right,
constituted for him a privilege. There was no form to bring something to his
small apartment : not even the mail. He personally came to look for it so as not
to put anyone about. If he needed to speak with our Bishop, he did not summon
him to visit: he himself went to meet him".
of the house of Exercises
" La Sorgente ", 1980
years of elementary school of Forno di Canale. In the first years, he was
surely anything but a model student. Perhaps with his strong temper, with
his kindly, but not less annoying vivacity, he was almost a challenge to his
mother and his teachers. Often, his teachers could not do any other than to
request his mother, Bortola, to visit the school for a 'chat'. It was not
that the boy was bad-mannered or disrespectful to the teachers, or a
villain towards his companions but, simply, he could not remain quiet on his
bench. Many years later, some ex- students of Theology professor, Albino Luciani,
will remember that, as Professor, only very rarely was he seated calmly on a
surely, his female school friends incited him to pull their hair; or to jump on
benches when he was 'fighting' innocently with his friends; or to sit on
the teachers' chair (which was raised on a platform). All things that today seem
normal and irrelevant facts of scholastic life, that it would be ridiculous to
consider them as problems. In times gone by, it was not like that; thatís why
the boy had a mark in conduct that, if he could see now, it wouldnít live up
to him Ė just as John Paul himself, smiling, confessed to Bellunese pilgrims
Edoardo Lucianiís memories ("Il Celentone")
and from "L'Amico del Popolo", September 9th, 1978
punch in the face
Venice, his outer modesty could be touched by the hand : the Patriarch used to
go for a walk in the evening, alone, by the narrow, romantic streets of the city
of the lagoon. Nothing distinguished him from a simple Priest. One night, he
arrived at his residence with a swollen cheek " What happened ?",
asked the frightened Nuns who came to him. " Oh, nothing in
particular - the Cardinal answered - I met a drunkard, " a Priest-eater
". He hit me on my face. And here I am ". The Police investigations
did not give any result.
having been with the Bishop (of Padova) in the Patriarchy, we had gone towards
the wharf. The Cardinal wanted to accompany us and took us in the motorboat,
since he had to go to celebrate, I donít remember, what ceremony. At a certain
point, the motorboat beached. It was necessary to request help and to transfer to another boat. It was a good solution to the disadvantage, but the
Patriarch continued saying: " I am sorry for the Bishop of Padova who has
so much to do and so many engagements".
of the Bishop-palace of Padova
" La Sorgente ", 1980
the occasion of a visit to the Maria Waldrast Sanctuary (Austria), a waiter,
recognizing him by the Episcopal ring, greeted him in German, and the Patriarch
also answered him in German at the greeting. He was asked if he also spoke that
language. He answered : " I have also to greet groups of German language
speakers that visit St. Marks".
Angelo M. Pedot
" La Madonna di Monte Berico ", 1980
It was Christmas Eve. Monsignor Luciani had also helped to design the manger,
built - with simplicity - in the Episcopal chapel. After the Midnight Mass
celebrated in Vittorio Veneto Cathedral, Luciani, accompanied by the Nuns and
the personnel of the house of exercises, placed the image of Jesus Child on the
straw of the manger. He stopped to pray, knelt down and sang a sweet popular
Christmas melody. He wished " Merry Christmas " to all, he went to his
room, turned-off the heating and spent the night in the cold. On Christmas day,
when he returned to the Bishops' palace, after the solemn pontifical, the
Nuns had prepared a festive little lunch. Luciani requested them all to sit at
his table. He told the Nun :
could you make me a favour ?"
But, Excellence, I am here, tell me what do you wish ?"
But, do you promise me that you will not be offended ?"
But no, be calm; it is enough for me to make you happy and I am here to serve
please, can you bring me that little drop of soup that had was left yesterday
evening ? What you have prepared for me today, I will taste it, I will
congratulate on you and then I pray you to send it to that poor family we
But, Excellence, the soup is cold; it is Christmas, have it tomorrow."
Hey ! Sister, I imagined that you always take me at my word... But just because
it is Christmas it is necessary that I, being a Bishop, give an example of love
to the poor and poverty myself, as I have taught by speech to imitate Jesus...
And then I have also invited this Priest and I am glad he is with us and not
alone to spend this holiday of Gods' goodness towards us... "
" La Fiamma ", 1985
had met him here (at Pietralba). He came since he was young. He had returned
often as a seminarian, Priest, Bishop. Year by year, the appointment had become
a ritual. We were all around him and he spoke, prayed, played bowls with us, sat
at our tables for meals. He took a seat in our poor car and guided us to the
places of his memories, to his house.
knew all, and was interested in all. A man so rich with humanity, so
overflowing with spiritual
gifts, so full of irresistible fascination, so
transparent in his simplicity, humility and sanctity. We will not see him any
more in these mountains.
from " Humilitas ", 1986
I have taken great care not to mention his probable election; it would not have
been of good taste : Is it possible sincerely to wish a Cardinal to become a
is, to be invested with an authority and such great responsibility ? When going,
I could only tell him: ĎWe will pray to the Holy Spirit to illuminate the
Cardinalsí. He he raised his eyes up to the sky and went away quickly smiling
" L'Amico del popolo ", 1978
an interview to Cardinal Paulo E. Arns, Archbishop of S„o Paulo.
His candidacy, in the Conclave of 1978, had been programmed by Brazilian
No, there was no propaganda, no campaign. His election was an intuition for me.
I intuited immediately that Cardinal Luciani would have been a very simple Pope
and very collegial. Those two aspects were fundamental for us. However, I wanted
to catch more deeply his person to know how would have been his Pontificate,
that, in the period of time between his election and the coronation (note :
beginning of Pontificate Mass), I went to visit all the places in which he had
lived and developed his pastoral action. Some exponents of Communion and
Liberation were of a disposition to accompany me and I travelled with them.
I visited his native home at Canale D'Agordo. I went to Vittorio Veneto, Belluno,
Venice. I spoke with relatives and friends, with whoever knew him. When the day
of the coronation arrived (note : beginning of Pontificate Mass), at the moment
of the greetings to the Cardinals, Pope Luciani told me: " Eminence, you
are a reporter! My relatives told me that they have had to tell you all my life
from " 30 Giorni ", Aug-Sep/1998
Days of euphoria and hope
John Paul I has been very loved. After his election, a great part of hope and
euphoria surrounded his cautious movements, that were seen by many as a
preparation to spectacular and desired changes.
would be enough to talk about the words, directed to the Cardinals during his
first audience. He had begun to play with the papers in his hands, then he has
reflected aloud: " Dear brother Cardinals, must I read the prepared speech
or can I improvise ?". Spontaneous laughter exploded from the audience and
the Pope decided to improvise: " I am new in the Vatican, about whose work
I am absolutely ignorant. The first thing that I did, as soon as I had a little
time, has been to take the yearbook (Pontifical), to study a little the
Holy See organisms, so much I am ignorant and distant to know the gears well
Leon Joseph Suenens,
" The BC Catholic ", Mar 13th, 2000
The adventure of becoming the Patriarchís secretary
In 1975, my Superior sent me as cooperator of St. Pius X parish from which we
were in charge at Marghera. There, in January of the following year, I again met
the Patriarch (...) and I took him by car up to Piazzale Roma. During the trip,
(...), having known that next July the International Eucharistic Congress would
have taken place in Philadelphia, I dared to tell him: " Eminence, as I
know a little English, I would like to offer myself as a companion and a luggage
carrier ". I donít remember the answer, now. I know that shortly we
arrived at the station and the speech was interrupted.
the end of June that year, I met again with the Priests of the diocese at
Paderno del Grappa (...). At the end of a lunch, the Patriarch approached
telling me: " Do you remember your offer to accompany me to Philadelphia
?". I thought, in that moment, he was going to reproach me for my audacity.
Immediately, he added: "I won't be going to Philadelphiaí, but I would
like you to come with me to serve me as a private secretary". I answered
him: " Here, it is my direct Superior. If you consider, speak with him".
He immediately pointed that the Superiors already knew the proposal. At that
point, I added: "(...) I even donít ask of you a day to think about it.
If you want, I also accept immediately". So, the adventure of Albino
Lucianiís private secretary had begun (...) ".
Obliged by force
night of August 6th, 1978, the news of the unexpected death Pope Montini arrived
to the Patriarch at the Venice Lido where he was since some days ago. The next
morning, he returned to the see and, required by the local newspaper director to
write something that talked about Paul VIís successor, he began his article
like this : " Cardinal KŲnig, archbishop of Vienna, has said recently that,
in the next Conclave, the elected Cardinal will have to be obliged by force - in
a metaphoric sense, I mean - to accept the election ". While I typed the
manuscript, I said to myself : " And, who will be able to accept hits at
the back without rebelling oneself, if not a true humble one ". And
Ďhumilitasí has not been the motto and the star for 20 years, at the light
on which the Patriarch of Venice lives and accepts the comings ? A few days
later, on August 10th, we left by car for Rome. As guests of the
Augustinian Fathers, very near to St. Peterís Basilica, Cardinal Luciani spent
two weeks of great retreat (...)
those days, he was not - as it was said malignantly from other Cardinals -
vector of consensuses; he neither pronounced in favour of a future Pontiff of
" immediate and aggressive leadership "; nor, finally, was an inventor
of candidacies. However, he knew of being judged as " a discoloured"
by a newspaper; I think that, in front of this adjective, he would have smiled
and told himself, like so many other times: " It is necessary to have
patience ".(...) '
I was in St. Peterís Square when Cardinal Felici gave the announcement of the
election using the Latin formula, repeating the term " Dominum twice "
before adding " Albinum Luciani ". (...)
will seem strange, and nevertheless I expected to hear that name ' Albinum '.
Why? (...) I expected it for the sum of Christian virtues that I had verified on
the man. Also, many times previously I had been thinking that, that
sum of virtues, should have to be offered as a manifestation to the whole world.
It is necessary to remember, in fact, what those months of 1978 had meant: the
tribulation, the vicissitudes, for example, of Italian people taken as a target
by the Red Brigades. The Moro affair still bled. And well, I myself considered
that, if the world had wanted to take a breather and to regain courage, it would
have had to look at this manís face, gentle and humble (...).
Dressed as a Pope for the first time
In the afternoon on August 26th, in the balcony of St. Peterís lodge, he
appeared likeable, warm, and armed with joy, the new Pontiff, John Paul I. (...)
He was immediately called the smiling Pope. From him, immediately, people liked
his simplicity, modesty, virtues that also the press hurried to publicise. I,
who was in St. Peterís Square, thought about God that, suddenly, had burned to
Albino Luciani, at the Tevereís borders, the ships of the reserve and the
concealment, in which he had lived as if they were his natural habitat during
decades, and He had obliged him to take the way to offer himself to the whole
world (...). He had obeyed and had moved Ė he said the next day - having his
hand on Christís, leaning on Him (...)
saw Luciani with the Papal habit for the first time on the night of his election,
at about 9.30p.m. I entered the room where he was talking with the Cardinal
Secretary of State (...). When he saw me, he came to meet me (...) and he told
me: " Your words were demonstrated exact... See you tomorrow ".
was his first day as a Pope; first of another thirty two, with which to compose
now an insurmountable passage in the life of the Church(...)
" I accept Ö I accept Ö I accept ... "
His inner attitude prevailed over the outer considerations. To the Lord who
sometimes requested him to become himself educator or Superior in the
Seminary or General Vicar or Bishop, first in Vittorio, then in Venice, shortly,
in Rome, he must have replied every time: Yes, I am sad, but I accept ". I
like to imagine that, when he accepted to be a Pope, God could have told him:
" Come on ! Work hard only for a little time, only for few days. Donít
Sometimes I ask the Lord to take me with Him "
Monsignor Antonio Mistrorigo, Bishop of Treviso, in an interview, put in
Patriarch Lucianiís mouth an expression that he must have picked up in one of
his many meetings he had with him and to whom, I had also heard him say in one
occasion: " Sometimes I ask the Lord to take me with Him". God asks us,
orders and He prevails; but in the end, He rewards those who have offered
Him obedience, listening to His requests (...) It would not be necessary to be
astonished that this had also happened to Albino Luciani. On the other hand, it
is only in this level of faith that we can look for the suitable answer to
certain kinds of questions.
the questions, the biggest one (...) was that a million people simultaneously
had the morning of September 29th, 1978, at about 7.00AM, when the Italian radio
and ANSA gave the announcement of the death, followed by the medical bulletin
me (...) it was not something forced, nor a simple solution and not even a quick
" to finish the game ", to return to that request to God so that He
took him with Him : a request that Ė according to my point of view - must have
become insistent not saying arrogant, due to the great confidence existing
between him and God, already from the first days after his election.
How will the Eternal one have answered him ?"
Thursday September 28th, 1978 - The last hours - The pain in the chest
After the audiences of that day - the last one of which to Cardinal Secretary of
State Villot - we were at the table waiting for supper, when he began
(...) telling we secretaries: " What a strange thing ... I am feeling sharp
pains in the chest... I still notice that they are being reduced in intensity
". My surprise was shared with Monsignor Magee, who hurried to say: "
There is always a duty doctor ready; it costs nothing to call him ". We
were convinced not to do it (...). My inexperience, then, about premonitory
symptoms of cardiac problems referred to these sharp pains, played a remarkable
part during the performance of the supper.
we had finished supper (...) we accompanied him to his room and Father Magee,
forgetting about whatever had been said at the table, indicated to him a
knob that hung at the bed head saying: " Holy Father, if tonight you need
some help, by pressing this, you will be able to call us ". He was
convinced and (we stated it the next morning) we left him reading some writing
from the years in which he was Bishop of Vittorio Veneto. Understandable for me,
knowing the customs: it was the night between Thursday and Friday and it was
urgent to find something that was useful to him for the next Sunday
Angelus (...) "
A title that nobody will never steal from him: The smiling Pope
His Pontificate lasted only 33 days. The time of a smile. Cardinal Albino
Luciani, on St. Peterís chair was a surprise for many. His first movements as
a Pope were all marked of simplest humility (...)
have been one who has made an hypothesis about a " secret " in Lucianiís
smile. This smile has represented a new fact, an unpublished mark of a Popeís
public personality, but it was a very well-known and habitual mark in Lucianiís
personality. I have had the way to return to see many photos of the Patriarch
appeared in ĎGente Venetaí, the Catholic weekly magazine of Venice, and
taken between 1971 and 1978 and I could once again still state how the smile on
Albino Lucianiís lips was a constant still before August 26th, 1978.
perhaps, in that respect, it is necessary to notice is that already in his first
appearance at the external balcony of the Vatican lodge, more than a smile, it
was open laughter, open to 360 degrees, is it said like this ? which
seemed to me to be an absolutely new, previously unknown, aspect.
fact had given him that title of " the smiling Pope " that
nobody will never steal from him and that I share only partly, because it can be
a way, still involuntary, but, anyway, enough restricted to judge Lucianiís
Pontificate. (...) I remember, in that respect, an American journalists'
commentary, mentioned by Cardinal Baggio, in a conference of 1979, after Pope
Lucianiís death and before the successive Conclave: " It hadnít
any importance that the Pope who was about to be elected was an Italian or not,
diplomat or shepherd, a languages expert or not; liberal or conservative; not
even was it important to be an erudite or to be a saint: it was enough that he
knew how to smile. Only a man like this would have incarnated the Christian
vision of hope ". It seems to me to see in these words to recognize
the truest interpretation and compromising of John Paul I smiling. (...) "
Kneeling behind the Pope
When in the afternoon of August 26th, 1978, God requested Luciani to
accept the heaviest sacrifice - to sit on Peterís chair, in Rome, he
accepted on his fragile shoulders the weight of the Pontificate with a 'yes'
that took, in those Saturday eves, a Marian sea l: it had in it, all the Ecce
Ancilla and the Fiat of the Virgin. Yet, it was also Peterís answer,
that we had heard in the pre-festive liturgy to the reading of the Gospel:
" Lord, you know that I love You ". Three days later, John Paul I told
the Cardinals : " Be near this poor Christ, become a Vicar of Christ
What I saw of him in the years that I was near him in Venice also continued with
all naturalness in the 33 days spent in the Vatican as a Pope, in narrow
coherence himself and in his whole life. I think it was not a coincidence
that the subject of his first Wednesday audience was 'humility' (...) The same
subject we can find on the text of the second Angelus, pronounced on Sunday
September 3rd, some hours before starting the solemn beginning of his
am sure that those who were there at that moment in St. Peterís Square couldnít
fail to feel goose pimples. On that day, the Church celebrated St. Gregory
Magnus, and John Paul I remembers that, this his successor, did not want to be
elected as a Pope, until, to make him accept it, the Emperor had also to take
part. Also, he reported two passages of two of Gregorys' letters, written when
he had accepted his election as Pope. The first one belongs to a letter
addressed to his friend, Leandro, Bishop of Seville: " I wish to cry, more
than to speak ". To the Emperor Gregorysí sister he wrote : The Emperor
has wanted a monkey to become a lion". Immediately, Luciani added:
" Itís possible to see that also in that time it was difficult to be a
that Angelus, I was kneeling behind the Pope who spoke from the balcony of his
study, and I thought to myself : ĎHere it is the whole Lucianií.
that citation (...), he indirectly meant to us : what had happened 1500 years
ago to Pope Gregory, happened again today. Not the Emperor but only God has
wanted that a poor person like me became a Pope. Therefore, Humilitas, yes in
the Episcopal coat of arms but more extensively in Lucianiís life".
" Avvenire ", August 27th, 2000
Of Pope Luciani I have a peculiar memory; it is necessary to be situated in the
Synod of ' 74, dedicated to the Evangelization in the today world. The then
Patriarch of Venice, during the intervals, didnít go to the bar to have
something; so he had a drink brought to him and took it into the Synod room. It
was another opportunity to converse. I remember that, the next year, we
celebrated the first centenary of the Veneto colonists arrival to Brazil. In
1875, the Emperor Peter II had divided Rio Grande do Sul into two parts between
German and Veneto colonists. For this reason, as the Church as the government
had invited the Patriarch of Venice to go to Brazil. Luciani confided his
indecision to me: " They have invited me", he told me, " but,
what am I going to do there ?" I am very busy and in addition I do not
speak the language ". " Eminence - I said -, if it is for the language
there will be no difficulty because they speak pure Veneto dialect, the one that
was spoken before, 'not contaminated' by Italian. The linguists, who love
to study the old Veneto, indeed go to Rio Grande do Sul... " In fact, he
did not have problems with the language. He confirmed this to me when I returned
to see him after his visit ".
Lucas Moreira Neves
of the Sacred Congregation for Bishops
from " Cristo Hoy ", November 26th, 1998
That morning of September 29th, 1978, when at 8.00a.m., on the radio, I heard of
the mysterious passing of Pope Luciani, I immediately pictured him, smiling and
familiar, twenty-two days before at the same time. He had welcomed myself and my
wife into his study, in that limpid beginning of a September morning,
after having crossed the Vatican lodges and still deserted rooms. Whilst
he talked domestically with us, he watched insistent the angle of the table
where there was a push-button with the pontifical signs. " I would like to
push the button to ask someone to bring you a coffee but I don't like to
trouble people". A very human delicacy that perhaps that night made him die
totally alone ".
" 30 Giorni ", July-August 1998
Paul Iís portrait
first pictures of John Paul I had already appeared in the souvenir shop windows
the day after his election: in this, the retailers were not backward ! The
new Popeís face perfectly expressed goodness and, at the same time, humour;
his face, rounder, contrasted with the emaciated Paul VIís, the flesh was
pinker, the black and rebel hair put out the white skullcap, the cheerful eyes
did not manage to disguise, behind the bifocal lenses, a sparkling glance, the
lips were opened in an authentic smile that illuminated all the face. The chin
was firm but non-prominent. The profile: the nose appeared right and rather
prominent. The whole appearance gave a impression of solidity, of security. If
the anguish, for such a heavy load, was in John Paul I, as he has often
repeated, it did not yet scratch the calm goodness of a trusted face".
"La vita quotidiana in Vaticano sotto Giovanni Paolo IIí
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