The Vatican

The Magisterium of Albino Luciani (Blessed John Paul I) through his library

The personal library that belonged to Blessed John Paul I (1912-1978), born Albino Luciani, pontiff for 33 days between August and September 1978, has been reconstructed and valorized in order to deepen his magisterium.

Giovanni Tridente-November 14, 2023-Reading time: 2 minutes

John Paul I ©OSV/L'Osservatore Romano

The personal library that belonged to the Blessed John Paul I (1912-1978), born Albino Luciani, pontiff for 33 days between August and September 1978, has been reconstructed and valorized to deepen in his magisterium, before as Pope, as diocesan pastor in Vittorio Veneto and then Patriarch in Venice.

The Vatican Foundation that bears his name, presided over by Cardinal Secretary of State Piero Parolin, with the vice-presidency entrusted to journalist Stefania Falasca - established by Pope Francis in February 2020 - is in fact organizing for next November 24, at the Pontifical Gregorian University, the conference "The Magisterium of John Paul I in the light of his library".

Literary dimension

The initiative was also the occasion to present the critical edition of the famous syllogium of forty imaginary letters that Albino Luciani wrote in 1976 under the title ".Your Excellencies"edited by vice-president Falasca herself, who comments: "Emblem of Albino Luciani's vast formation and of the close link between the papers and the books of his library, the work also leads to reflect on his particular familiarity with the literary dimension as a connotative canon that characterizes all his oral and written production".

Work office

The rich library of the last Italian pontiff was lived by him "as a working office," explains the Vatican Foundation. Originally composed of some five thousand volumes, "it passed through all the places where he exercised his ministry." A true "corpus in one place and one function" together with the private papers, which arrived at the Vatican the day after his election.

However, after his death, the library was partially dispersed and the most important material is now in the Benedict XVI Diocesan Library of Venice.

The event at the Gregoriana

The event at the Gregoriana will open with greetings from Cardinal Secretary of State Parolin and the Prefect of the Dicastery for Culture and Education, Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça. After the projection of a video on the "rediscovered library", the director of the Diocesan Library of the Patriarchate of Venice, Diego Sartorelli, will present the cataloguing work carried out on the books that belonged to Albino Luciani. The subsequent reflections will deal with the theological and spiritual formation of the Italian Pontiff (Mauro Velati) and the pastoral narrative of his writings (Gilberto Marengo).

The second part of the day will be dedicated to the presentation of the critical edition of "Illustrious Gentlemen", with the interventions of the editor Stefania Falasca and the university professor Cristiana Lardo.

The day will conclude with the intervention of another university professor (Tor Vergata), Simone Martuscelli, who will reflect on the usefulness of literature at the "service of Albino Luciani's preaching", tracing a sort of "linguistic strategy" that would later characterize all his teaching.

The authorGiovanni Tridente

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