New Book Reveals Details of Pope John Paul I’s Death

CP&S comment – This book’s revelations should put to bed the many rumours of murder surrounding Pope John Paul I’s sudden death after only 33 days into his Pontificate!


Pope John Paul I (Sentinelle del mattino International via Wikipedia (CC 2.0) via CNA)

The book’s release, Nov. 7, is said to coincide with the announcement that his cause for sainthood is moving forward.

Hannah Brockhaus/CNA/EWTN News

ROME — A new book discloses details and evidence of the death of Pope John Paul I, who died in 1978 after just 33 days in office — showing his death was the result of a heart attack, as previously held.

In the book, Papa Luciani: Chronicle of a Death, Vatican journalist Stefania Falasca presents thoroughly researched evidence, including previously undisclosed medical reports, witness testimonies and Vatican documents, confirming original reports that the late pontiff died of a heart attack.

Albino Luciani, who was born Oct. 17, 1912, in Italy’s northern Veneto region, was elected Bishop of Rome at the age of 65. He took the name Pope John Paul to honor both of his immediate predecessors, St. John XXIII and Blessed Paul VI.

His term as pope was short-lived, however, as he died suddenly Sept. 28, 1978, after just over a month in office. It has been presumed his death was caused by a heart attack, but a lack of published evidence has allowed conspiracy theories to surface, including insinuations of murder.

The book’s release, Nov. 7, is said to coincide with the announcement that John Paul I’s cause for sainthood is moving forward. According to Vatican journalist Andrea Tornielli, on Nov. 7 or 8, the Vatican may announce Pope Francis’ approval of the “heroic virtue” of Albino Luciani, declaring him “Venerable.”

This then opens the path for his beatification, which requires the approval of a miracle attributed to his intercession. Currently, the Vatican is examining two alleged miracles from the late Pope’s intercession.

In her book, Falasca, who also serves as vice postulator of John Paul I’s cause for sainthood, outlines evidence of his death, including how the evening before his death he suffered a severe pain in his chest for about five minutes, a symptom of a heart problem.

It occurred while sitting and praying vespers in the chapel with his Irish secretary, Msgr. John Magee, before dinner. The Pope rejected the suggestion to call for a doctor, and the pain went away without treatment. His doctor, Renato Buzzonetti, was only informed of the event after his death.

Contrary to what was first announced by the Vatican, however, it wasn’t the Pope’s secretaries who first found him the next morning, but nuns.

When the elderly Sister Vicenza, who helped care for the Pope, noticed that he had not come out of his room to take his morning coffee, she knocked on his door and opened it when he didn’t answer.

She immediately came back out in a state of shock, however, and called for the younger Sister Margherita Marin. In her sworn testimony, Sister Margherita relates that, entering the room, she “touched his hands, they were cold, and I saw — and was struck by the fact — that his nails were a little dark.”

Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who is from the same region as the Pope, contributed a preface to the book. In it, he explains that, while serving as patriarch of Venice in 1975, Cardinal Luciani also suffered from a heart problem and was treated with anti-coagulants, which appeared to resolve it.

Sister Margherita, now 76 years old, said in her testimony that John Paul I did not seem tired or weighed down by his new responsibilities, but that she always saw him “calm, serene, full of trust, confident.”

Though his papacy was very short, requests to begin John Paul I’s canonization process followed shortly after his death and came from many parts of the world. These requests were formalized in 1990, with a document signed by 226 Brazilian bishops.

On Nov. 23, 2003, he was declared a “Servant of God” by his immediate successor, Pope St. John Paul II.

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5 Responses to New Book Reveals Details of Pope John Paul I’s Death

  1. toadspittle says:

    What on earth does all this mean?
    A dead pope? Popes die- – every blessed one of them so far – some sooner, some later, same as every other wretched sinner.
    Where does God come into it?
    The Pope in question died, “Quite naturally, :” ( or so we are told) of a heart attack, aged a mere 68. Very sad, but lots of people do the same, i have known several friends to do so.
    What his death did, was to make some sceptical people wonder what the “point” of God appointing someone pope – then 33 days later,letting him die – was meant to mean – no matter by what method it took place. Maybe it meant nothing at all. I don’t know.
    It might have meant God didn’t care either way.

    Many wonders forthcoming to the questions above, to be sure. I hope so,
    But I also “prophesy” there will be no coherent answers to them. A s usual.
    (Might be wrong, this time, though)

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  2. JabbaPapa says:

    Pope John Paul I’s General Audiences are stunningly good — people underestimate quite how important in the recent History of the Church this short Pontificate actually is.

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  3. I was not aware that having a pre-existing heart problem makes one immune to various methods of inducing heart attack or death . I have never read anywhere that an autopsy was performed. I wonder if copies of this re-assuring new book will be placed in the mailboxes of all the cardinals.

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  4. JabbaPapa says:

    I was not aware that death by heart failure in the event of a pre-existing heart problem should be sufficient cause to deny a verdict of death by heart attack.

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  5. johnhenrycn says:

    “I was not aware that death by heart failure… etc…”
    Unless of course your “pre-existing [weak] heart” is stabbed, electrocuted, poisoned or torn from your chest by an Aztec priest, in which case “a verdict of death by heart attack” may be premature until after full post-mortem. The jury verdict is still out in the case of this particular death. Was a full autopsy performed? I don’t recall. I did read a good account of the events surrounding JP I’s death some years ago, although there was no mention of an Aztec priest.

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