Albino Luciani – better known as Pope John Paul I – has moved forward on the path to sainthood, and can now officially be called “Venerable” by faithful around the world, CNA reports.
Announced by the Vatican yesterday, Pope Francis' decision to green light the cause was made the day before, during a meeting with Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
With Francis' approval of his heroic virtue, “Papa Luciani,” who until now has held the title “Servant of God,” can now be called “Venerable,” which is the step before beatification.
In addition to John Paul I, other causes to move forward are the martyrdom of Giovanni Brenner, a diocesan priest killed in Hungary in 1957 and the martyrdom of Sr Leonella Sgorbati, killed in hatred of the faith in Somalia in 2006.
Other causes approved of heroic virtue are Bernard of Baden; Fr Gregorio Fioravanti; Fr Tommaso Morales Perez of Venezuela; Italian layman Marcellino da Capradosso and American Sr Teresa Fardella, foundress of the Daughters of Mary of the Most Holy Crown.
Born in Italy on October 17, 1912, Albino Luciani made history when he was elected Pope on August 26, 1978, and took a double name after his two immediate predecessors, St John XXIII and Blessed Paul VI.
￼He sent shock waves around the world when he died unexpectedly just 33 days later, making his one of the shortest pontificates in the history of the Church. The sudden nature of his death gave rise to various theories of foul play at the time of his passing. However, a book published on Tuesday by Italian journalist Stefania Falasca, the vice-postulator of his cause, has debunked the conspiracies and insinuations of murder.
In her book, released in Italian and titled John Paul I: the Chronicle of a Death, Falasca provides both documentation and testimony indicating that the late Pope suffered a brief, unknown cardiac episode the night before he died, which was likely linked to a previous heart problem he thought had been resolved, but was most likely the cause of his death.