Researching the life of Albino Luciani, Pope John Paul I, has been a labor of love, though I have confronted a host of challenges including the following:
- The Secret Vatican Archives quarantine the personal papers of popes for 75 years..
- The Diocese of Venice, where Luciani served as patriarch, does not make his personal papers available to researchers.
- The pope’s siblings are deceased, as are many of his contemporaries.
- Pope Benedict XVI, who participated in the conclave that elected Luciani, is not available for interviews.
- The few remaining cardinals who participated in that 1978 conclave are either too ill and/or advanced in age to grant interviews.
- Most of the Luciani biographies and contemporaneous newspaper reports of his election, pontificate, and death are written in Italian and take substantial time to translate because of my limited proficiency of “la bella lingua” (the beautiful language).
Despite these impediments, I persevered and was successful in interviewing several key individuals who knew Luciani well, and I’ve researched all available books, articles, and websites, along with the pope’s own writings (including those in Italian.) Together, these sources have provided me with ample information to paint a detailed word portrait of Albino Luciani that includes an abundance of previously undisclosed information.
See the link immediately beneath this page on the menu for specific information.
Mo Guernon, Ed.M. / Biographer