During the beatification of John Paul I, Pope Francis highlighted this Sunday, September 4, the humility and joy of Albino Luciani and encouraged to imitate his example to “live without concessions”, “not halfway”, to love “to the extreme”. ”.
The Holy Father presided over the rite of beatification and delivered the homily, while the Holy Mass was presided over by the prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Marcello Semeraro.
During the Eucharistic liturgy, the Pope remained seated to one side of the altar.
The Eucharist was concelebrated by the postulator of the cause, Cardinal Beniamino Stella, the Vatican Secretary of State and president of the John Paul I Vatican Foundation, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and also by numerous cardinals, bishops and priests.
The ceremony took place in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican, in rainy weather.
In his homily, the Pope invited to imitate Jesus to “love without measure”, looking to the Crucified to “purify ourselves from our distorted ideas about God and our closedness, to love Him and others, in the Church and in society , also to those who do not think like us, and even to the enemies”.
“Love; even if it costs the cross of sacrifice, silence, misunderstanding and loneliness, even if they put obstacles in our way and we are persecuted. Because – as John Paul I also said – if you want to kiss the crucified Jesus, you cannot help but lean towards the cross and let some thorns from the crown, which has the Lord’s head, prick you,” the Pope said.
Along these lines, the Holy Father encouraged love “until the end, with all its thorns; not the half done things, the compromises or the quiet life”.
“If, for fear of losing ourselves, we renounce giving ourselves, we leave things incomplete: relationships, work, the responsibilities entrusted to us, dreams, and also faith,” he warned.
“How many people live halfway! We, too, are often tempted to live halfway. Living without ever taking the decisive step, this means living halfway, without taking off, without betting everything for the good, without truly committing ourselves for others. Jesus asks us this: live the Gospel and you will live life, not halfway but to the end. Live the Gospel, live life without compromise”Pope Francis invited.
For this reason, the Pope invited the new Blessed John Paul I to imitate because “he lived in this way: with the joy of the Gospel, without concessions, loving to the extreme. He embodied the poverty of the disciple, which does not only imply getting rid of material goods, but above all overcoming the temptation to put one’s own ‘I’ in the center and seek one’s own glory” and added that “on the contrary, following the example of Jesus, he was a gentle and humble shepherd.
“With his smile, Pope Luciani managed to convey the goodness of the Lord. A Church with a joyful face, a serene face and a smiling face is beautiful, that never closes its doors, that does not harden hearts, that does not complain or harbor resentments, that is not angry, a Church that is not angry, nor is it impatient , which does not present itself harshly or suffer from nostalgia for the past, falling into ‘indietrism,’” the Pope said.
In this way, Pope Francis suggested asking for “the smile of the soul” which is a “transparent smile that does not deceive” and suggested praying with the words of John Paul I “Lord, take me as I am, with my defects, with my faults but do me as you wish me”.
Before concluding the ceremony, Pope Francis gave a particular greeting to the official delegations present, led by the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, and thanked the faithful from Venice, Belluno and Vittorio Veneto for their presence, Dioceses in which Blessed Albino Luciani exercised his priestly and episcopal ministry.
The Holy Father then invoked his prayer to the Virgin Mary “so that she obtains the gift of peace throughout the world, especially in the martyred Ukraine”.
“May she, the first and perfect disciple of the Lord, help us to follow the example and holiness of life of John Paul I”, prayed the Holy Father.
At the end of the Mass, Pope Francis greeted the cardinals present in a wheelchair and traveled through the corridors of Saint Peter’s Square in the popemobile to greet and bless the thousands of faithful present in the Vatican.