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John Paul I. Biography ex documentis

John Paul I. Biography ex documentis

The volume John Paul I. Biography ex documentis by Stefania Falasca, Davide Fiocco and Mauro Velati is the result of a decade of meticulous work of historical archival research. One which stemmed from the opening of the Cause of canonisation of this Pontiff, conducted by its vice postulator Stefania Falasca who presents the entire biographical history of Albino Luciani in a scientific manner. The preface by Cardinal Beniamino Stella, Prefect of the Congregation of the Clergy and Postulator for the Cause of canonisation of John Paul I, presents a precious focus on the contents of the volume and the methodology adopted. Writes the prelate: «It latches on to the IV volume of the Positio super vita, virtutibus et fama sanctitatis of the Pope from Belluno, a text of over a thousand pages comprehensive of the biographia ex documentis and of the general bibliography. The Positio is the voluminous dossier consisting of five volumes of a total of over three thousand six hundred pages which contains the entire work of scientific research relating to documentation as well as the processing of data elaborated according to an historical critical method. And therefore represents the 'corpus' of documented and testimonial evidence designed to prove the heroicity of the life, the virtues and reputation of holiness of the candidate to be raised to the honour of the altars». The investigation of relevant sources involved the consultation of around seventy archives in thirty different locations and cities in an effort to establish a homogeneous result which was then broken up into twelve chapters, each one accompanied by pertaining published documents and articulated in four sections. The first section is dedicated to the years spent in Belluno (1912-1958). The second focuses on the years of episcopate in Vittorio Veneto (1959-1970). In this section the characteristics of his pastoral ministry, the challenges he faced presented by social and religious issues and in a special way his active participation in the Second Vatican Council come to light. The years of episcopate in Venice (1970-1978) are highlighted in two chapters of the third section. While the fourth section has only two chapters regarding respectively the pontificate and death of John Paul I. The biography ends with a complete list of the archival sources consulted and a wealth of biographical information, organised according to official acts and documentation, edited writings and studies relating to his person and activities. A great deal of effort has also been put in the inventory of all the publications signed or attributed to Albino Luciani, a list published here in its entirety for the first time. As Cardinal Beniamino Stella calls attention to in the preface: «These pages represent an attempt to restore the full picture of a human, religious, cultural and spiritual journey, allowing a treasure trove of scholarly dignity, those of a priest, bishop, patriarch and finally Successor of Peter to emerge. Together with a biblical, patristic, dogmatic, moral, historical humanistic culture, that of an apostle of the Council which he embodied naturaliter et simpliciter, united in a nova et vetera successful and genial synthesis».