The postulator of John Paul I's sainthood cause says the beatification of the late pontiff could be announced towards the end of year, marking the 100th anniversary of his birth and the Year of Faith.
Msgr. Enrico Dal Covolo said he will deliver the “Positio” on Albino Luciani to Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, on Oct. 17.
The “Positio” is a document detailing the life and writings the pontiff and testimonies of those who knew him.
He said the process could be accelerated because of special upcoming events, including the 100th anniversary of John Paul I’s birth, the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the opening of the Year of Faith.
In a July 13 interview with EWTN News in Rome, Msgr. Dal Covolo said his family was very close to the late pontiff.
“When I met him he was already a priest,” he explained, “and later he became vicar general of the Diocese of Belluno-Feltri, when my uncle, Father Antonio Dal Covolo, was his a friend of his.
Both were born in 1912. My uncle was rector of the seminary, so Father Albino would come to our house, also because he was my paternal grandmother’s confessor.”
“I was maybe 5 or 6 when I met him, and I still remember this priest who as exactly what we call a good shepherd,” the monsignor said.
He said Pope Luciani was “extremely friendly.”
“I think that if, like we all hope, Albino Luciani – John Paul I – is recognized as blessed and eventually canonized, it will be because he is an example of the good shepherd who gives his life for his sheep. That is the mark of Pope Luciani’s ministry. The 33 days of his pontificate were characterized by this,” he said.
“He certainly knew, he had the intuition, that this responsibility was a great burden and that his health was fragile and that he may have had to suffer, but even so he did was not undeterred.
He was driven by ambition for power or a desire to pursue a career, but rather what he wanted was exactly to give of himself for the flock. He followed the words of the Lord to Peter on the shores of the Sea of Galilee: 'If you love me, tend my sheep,'” Msgr. Da Covolo said.
Although it has not yet been officially recognized, the miracle that could lead to Pope Luciani’s beatification is the healing of Giuseppe Denora, an Italian man who was cured of a severe gastric tumor after praying to the late pontiff.