The Pope people forget to remember

Today is the 35th anniversary of the sudden death of Pope John Paul I.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Bosco says:

    God bless the Pope of the Smile! May he smile on us from Paradise.

  2. bernadette says:

    I remember walking into the kitchen and picking up the morning paper to read. The first thing I saw was the headline that the pope had died. I asked my husband why there was a month old newspaper on the table as I thought it must be the same edition that had announced the death of PaulVI.

  3. yatzer says:

    I had become Catholic at some point just before Paul VI died. It is telling about my confirmation that I’m not even sure when it was or much about the event, which was tagged onto an ordinary evening Mass. It was startling to have the first pope I was much aware of die so soon, then the next one who seemed such a lovely man died, then came a pope from Poland. There was much chaos in my own life then; your picture brings back some reminiscences.

  4. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    bernadette, I had a similar experience when a student walked into our dorm room and said the pope had died. My first thought was something like, yeah, and the Bicentennial was two years ago, what’s your point?

  5. John of Chicago says:

    The next day a small newspaper in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood had the memorable headline:
    “Pope Dies Again.” It became an instant, prized collector’s item.

  6. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Please: don’t let’s turn this comment into a rabbit hole.

    I remember having the same reaction (although I was only 10, and not yet Catholic) as I have read here. Then I remember, later – perhaps much later -, that two distinct groups claimed that he had been murdered. The first group was the one which claimed that he was intending to ordain women, and the second claimed that he was going to reveal the “third secret” of Fatima. When, within the last year, I introduced these claims to people holding the opposite opinion, each was – being polite, mind – stunned.

  7. He was my second pope; I was 2.5 at the time, so I don’t remember him. When I learned about him later, he became my favourite pope … until Benedict!

  8. Supertradmum says:

    I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. I was studying for my GRE exams when one of my roomates came into my room to tell me. She told me to sit down as she had something shocking to tell me. She was a journalist for the Catholic paper in Minneapolis, where I was living at the time, and got the news before most of the world.

    I remember thinking that God did not want him to be pope and took him home for some reason. The Holy Spirit is in charge of the Church, not men. And we should remember that now.

    I also remember thinking that God had a surprise for us, and the election of a Polish pope was definitely a welcomed surprise.

    God bless Pope John Paul I and may we ever remember that the Church is bigger than one man, even the man who is called, for how ever long, to be pope.

  9. Jacqueline Y. says:

    I was in the hospital with my one day old daughter. When my non-Catholic mother came to visit, her first words were “Your pope died _again_”. Having become a Catholic a few years earlier, I found the upheaval of the last years of Paul VI’s pontificate demoralizing. Blessed John Paul II brought hope and joy back.

  10. HyacinthClare says:

    Every time I see that picture I remember Supertradmum’s observing the “KGB agent” in the lower right-hand corner. I wasn’t Catholic yet… not for thirteen more years… but I cried that he died. I didn’t know why I was crying. I remember that day. Thirty-five years??

  11. StWinefride says:

    Supertradmum: I remember thinking that God did not want him to be pope and took him home for some reason.

    I think that sometimes, especially as his reign lasted only 33 days – a number associated with Our Lord. I am sure he is praying for us all down here!

  12. Mike says:

    I was 17 years old then, and really in a haze of adolescent goofiness. Still, I did go to Church and don’t remember hearing anything about any Pope dying.

    I do, naturally, remember when JPII died. It was the first time in our parish he was brought to our attention outside the canon of the Mass.

  13. Urs says:

    FR.Z WHAT IS GOING ON WITH SHARING THIS POST???? [Breathe. Breathe deeply.] I shared this blog post to facebook AND along with the picture, under the title of the post, it says what I have posted below in quotes WHY? I can’t find that article anywhere? and I didn’t really want that with the picture…Why did it do that ? When I click the link it comes back to this page…

    The Pope People Forget to Remember
    “I would underline the need for much prayer and fasting. The alarming rapidity of the realization of the homosexual agenda ought to awaken all of us and frighten us with regard to the future of our nation. This is”

  14. Urs: it’s text in the sidebar under “Food for thought”. Facebook pulls in what it thinks is relevant. You can click on that text in the FB share before you post it and change it to whatever you like.

  15. Supertradmum says:

    HyacinthClare, that was a joke….with a bit of bite.

  16. HyacinthClare says:

    I got the joke, Supertradmum. But you’re RIGHT. That guy looks like a young Putin; and definitely sneaky.

  17. PostCatholic says:

    I think of him every time The Godfather, Part III is re-run on basic cable. Did the Immobiliare deal ever go through?

  18. Lori Pieper says:

    I was a senior in college at the time. I will never forget how I found out. I was on my way to the dorm cafeteria for breakfast on September 29, and stopped in the little lounge just outside it to look at the newspaper for a moment — the headline slapped me in the face. I was devastated, because I already loved Pope John Paul I a great deal. That was the beginning of years of study about him.

    Today is the official launch date of my translation of his pre-papal writings in a book called A Passionate Adventure: Living the Catholic Faith Today. You can get it here:

    It’s available only as an e-book now, but a print version is coming soon. It’s only $3.99 until Sept 30. This has been almost my lifetime’s work, so I can’t help writing about it. :-)

  19. NBW says:

    I remember my grandmother and I were very upset about his passing on. He was really special. May he rest in peace.

  20. Minnesotan from Florida says:

    This has more to do with Pope John Paul I’s election than with his death, and its implicit journalist-despising attitude, nourished by C. S. Lewis, today for me mitigated by G. K. Chesterton and Father Zuhlsdorf, I may not now so strongly hold and in any event apologize to Father Zuhlsdorf for, but:

    I was thrilled beyond measure that after the death of Pope Paul VI in Time Magazine’s article on possible new popes some 50 or 60 were mentioned, including Karol Wojtyla, but ALBINO LUCIANI WAS NOT ONE OF THEM!

  21. Urs says:

    Thanks RuralVirologist! Sorry, FatherZ… I get a little excited when I have been trying to figure something out for a while, that seems like it should be simple… and I just cannot seem to make it make sense…

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