In the long history of civilization, few individuals have transformed the hearts, minds, and souls of hundreds of millions of people the world over.

Albino Luciani was one of them.

As pope for only 33 days, he profoundly inspired people of different lands, different cultures, different languages, and different religious beliefs to embrace faith, hope, and love — virtues that, along with humility, characterized Luciani’s very essence.

He radiated the smile of God, (“Il sorriso di Dio,” as his fellow Italians called it) and in so doing, illuminated the globe with the endless possibilities for doing good that lie within each of us.

Luciani, who took the first double name in papal history, John Paul, in honor of his two immediate predecessors was an instant sensation. So many people appeared in St. Peter’s for his Wednesday general audiences that two separate sessions had to be held to accommodate all who wished to see and hear him.

In his all-too-brief pontificate, he profoundly changed the nature of the papacy for all time. Yet, perhaps because he was pope for only 33 days, major American biographers have not deemed him a suitable subject for a full-length biography. For that reason, I have joyously taken it upon myself to tell his incredible tale. Love Is a Journey, a line from the talk he gave the day before his death, is an intimate look at Albino Luciani from birth to his cause for canonization. pen in hand

For several years I have labored to unearth previously unpublished, fascinating facts of his life and am eager to complete my manuscript so that the English speaking world can benefit from the amazing story of this man’s exemplary life.

I still have “miles to go before I sleep” but am now making steady progress on the book. Until its publication, though, I hope the ever-expanding information on this site will pique the interest of those who know little or nothing about the “Smiling Pope” whose humility, gentleness, and love uplifted people around the globe.




 Mo Guernon, Ed.M. / Biographer