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Pope John Paul I     " ..... didn't half give me the horn ..... "

Pope John Paul I

"I couldn't prevent myself, you know, having a wank immediately."


Albino Luciani is born at Belluno on 17 October 1912, the son of Giovanni Luciani and Bortola Tancon. He is a weak child who has to be baptised by the midwife on the day that he is born because he is in danger of dying. He enters the minor seminary in Feltre in 1923, and the Gregorian Seminary at Belluno five years later. In 1934, at the age of 22 he is ordained as sub-deacon. The following year he becomes deacon and, a few months later, he is ordained to the priesthood at St. Peter's Church of Belluno and named curate of the parish at Canale d'Agordo.

In 1954, Luciani is nominated Vicar-General of the Diocese of Belluno. This is followed by a nomination as canon of the Cathedral a couple of years later. By 1958, he has been consecrated as Bishop of Vittorio Veneto by Pope John XXIII. In 1969, Father Luciani is named Patriarch of Venice by Pope Paul VI. Three years later he is elected Vice President of the Italian Bishops Conference, holding this position until 2 June 1975. Shortly he is appointed Cardinal to the Roman Catholic Church.

Pope Paul VI dies on 6 August 1978 and, on the second day of the conclave, Cardinal Luciani is elected Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. He chooses to be called Pope John Paul I.

On 3 September 1978 he participates in the ceremony which initiates his pastoral service. Less than a month later, on 28 September 1978, Pope John Paul I dies, reportedly of a heart attack, although some still maintain the circumstances to be suspicious. His lying in state proceeds in the Clementine Chapel of St Peter's Basilica in Rome.