Beatification of Pope John Paul I

On Sunday, September 4 Pope Francis will beatify his esteemed predecessor, Pope John Paul I (Albino Luciani) who was pope from August to September, 1978 for just 33 days, one of the shortest pontificates in history.

The “Smiling Pope” as he was called chose a unique papal name using the names of his two immediate predecessors, John XXIII and Paul VI. He created a new double name, John Paul, which went on to be adopted by the man who succeeded him, St. John Paul II.

Bruno Heim designed a wonderful coat of arms for John Paul I that employed elements from the arms of John XXIII (the chief of Venice) and those of Paul VI (the mountains in base). The three stars (changed form 4-pointed to 5-pointed stars) were used in the coat of arms Luciani had assumed as a bishop. It is, in my opinion, one of Heim’s better designs.

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