Georges de Nantes.
The Mystical Doctor of the Catholic Faith.
20. John Paul I, A Saint Pius X Without Knowing It
“Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum... It was truly so. Joy was on the face of Cardinal Felici, Cardinal Protodeacon, who on that glorious summer’s evening of August 26, 1978 announced to the Church of Rome a great joy for the City and the entire world: the election to the Sovereign Pontificate of the Patriarch of Venice, Cardinal Luciani.” 1
In this September 1978 editorial, Father de Nantes exulted so much so that he intercalated between the lines of the name of the review ‘Catholic Counter-Reformation in the 20th century,’ the words ‘Catholic Renaissance’ and entitled the editorial: “A new saint Pius X without knowing it.” Yes, John Paul I resembled Pius X like a brother or a disciple: their impoverished origins, their consummate knowledge, their proven virtue, their love of the Church and even their carriers are parallel. After twenty years of darkness, a gentle light once again brightens the face of the Church.
An odd premonition gripped our Father’s heart: “At the very hour when Pope John Paul I was elected, there took place in Turin the first ostension of the Holy Shroud: the exhibition of the Holy Face of Jesus Crucified, the memorial of His Passion and proof or His Resurrection, before 80,000 people. The Pope is our sweet Christ on earth and sometimes he is another Crucified, like Saint Peter. Only time will tell.” 2
A GOOD CATHOLIC POPE.
“It is good and comforting to think that the Cardinals were captivated by the virtue, even more by the faith of one of their peers. It is a sure faith and humble virtue that prefers to remain hidden but is all the more manifest for that. ”
“‘If he is solid and firm,’ writes the Figaro excellently, ‘he is also brotherly and friendly. He is able to smile and will be able to smile whilst taking the decisions that his hard responsibility obliges him to take. The man breathes clarity and goodness. He is a man of God with the heart of a poor man.’ Further on, ‘His simplicity and good nature are heartening after the agonised intellectualism of Paul VI.’
“The contrast is evidently in favour of the one just elected and it testifies to the profound thought of the Conclave. Laurentin adds: ‘After an intellectual, now an empiricist. After a diplomat, a pastor. After a reformer, a gardener concerned with harvesting the fruits.’ After the rain, the fine weather; the rainbow after the flood – and what a flood! Corriere della Sera, also touched by grace, portrays the new Pope thus: ‘Wearing his big shoes of a priest of the poor, coming downtown doubtless with a certain rigorous orthodoxy in his head but assuredly with a heart full of charity’ [...]. Beneath this smiling face, in this wise holiness, revealing the fervent disciple of Saint Francis de Sales, all have admired, accepted and loved these two major virtues: a doctrinal rigour and moral inflexibility tempered by great goodness towards people, especially the poor [...].
“Everyone has been informed; all understand it well, sign and endorse it. It is astonishing and wonderful; God, Christ, the Church have come back to the foreground thanks to the new pontificate. This miracle has been wrought by the unwavering faith and extreme charity of Albino Luciani, by the smiling joy and the serenity of his hope. The Church has preferred a Pope who is intransigent in faith but liberal towards people to one who is liberal in ideas with people from outside but harsh and curt towards the people of his own household. The Figaro writes: ‘He does not accept that it is possible to compromise with the faith or the moral exigencies of the Gospel.’ His predecessors would then? As for the Osservatore Romano it describes the Conclave’s choice in these words: ‘His absolute fidelity to the Pope and his rigorous Catholicism.’ Today there remains the fidelity of the Pope to himself and to his rigorous Catholicism in a humble and gentle heart.” 3
What a confirmation this was of what Father de Nantes had constantly preached, in his absolute faith in the Church! “I have always told you, even at the most trying moments: It is not we who will save the Church, it is the Church who will save herself. And again: Nothing holy or decisive in the Church was ever accomplished without Rome, outside of Rome, or against Rome; when Rome wishes, the Renaissance will come.” 4
A DOOR REOPENED, A POSSIBLE RECONCILIATION
Our Father did not forget the Council, the opening to the world, the reformation of the Church, ecumenism and Montinian politics. He even foresaw that John Paul I would continue along the same line. Nevertheless, when he examined how the young Bishop of Vittorio-Veneto, then Patriarch of Venice, had reacted to these innovations, he discovered that Albino Luciani had accepted them diffidently, doing his best to make them consistent with traditional doctrine.
There was only one exception: religious freedom. He saw no way of reconciling it with the teachings of his masters. Father de Nantes heard about something of immense scope that he had said in confidence. It bore witness to the ordeal it was for the conscience of him who the Council had elected:
“Between John Paul I and ourselves,” Father de Nantes wrote in his editorial of October 1978, “between the legacy of John and Paul, which he had professedly espoused, and our League of the Counter-Reformation, there remained an insurmountable contradiction regarding precise, significant points of the Faith. We could not, and shall never be able to, accept as a new dogma the alleged social right of Man to religious freedom, not any more than we could accept the Cult of Man proclaimed by Paul VI before the whole Church at the close of the Council on December 7, 1965. Consequently, we had been told for fifteen years, both in France and in Rome, that we were heading down a blind alley.
“Now, by simple words of honesty and humility John Paul I has opened the way to a solution. His words alone are the undoing of heresy and the clearing of the conciliar impasse and by themselves they justify the all too brief reign of this Pontiff on the throne of Saint Peter in the unanimity of the Church recognising herself in him. Admitting his interior struggle during the Council and the difficulty he had in rallying to the theses of the innovators, in particular to their theory of religious freedom, he admitted:
“‘The most difficult thesis for me to accept was that of religious freedom. For years I had taught the thesis that I had learned in Cardinal Ottaviani’s course on public law, according to which truth alone has rights. I studied the problem thoroughly, and finally I became convinced that we had been mistaken.’
“In one go, the Pope’s honesty restored everyone’s right to be heard, even after Vatican II and without fear of a fraudulent excommunication, and he restored the present tragedy to its true proportions. It is this: some ended by allowing themselves to be convinced or else they managed to convince themselves that the Church had hitherto been wrong; others remained convinced, or in the end understood, that the ones who had been mistaken and had deceived us were the innovators of this Council rather than the Church of all time. To admit the possibility of error, whichever side the mistake actually lies on, is to restore peace to the Church by relegating these difficult questions to the domain of free opinion pending a dogmatic Vatican III or the Pope’s infallible definitions.” 5
THE HOLY SHROUD OF TURIN.
While the “Smiling Pope” was conquering the hearts of his children, multitudes were flocking to Turin to participate in the solemn ostension of the Holy Shroud, organised during the entire month of September.
Our Father’s devotion to the Holy Shroud of Our Lord goes back to his childhood. As he related in his Memoirs and Anecdotes, it was “in 1932 perhaps, Mademoiselle de Otaola actually gave me, on return from a pilgrimage to Lisieux a thick illustrated brochure of all the traditional iconography. I looked at those engravings [...].” He discovered the picture of the Holy Face painted by Céline Martin, who had become Sister Geneviève, at the Carmel of Lisieux 6.
Later, when he entered the seminary, he wanted to have this image continually before his eyes: “I placed on my study table ‘Le Modèle Unique’ open at the first page showing a photo of the Holy Face of Christ, a striking reproduction of the Shroud of Turin. Facing it I placed John Bogey’s small wooden cross on which I had inscribed the Jesus Charitas that was dear to Brother Charles of Jesus. These objects of my inner devotion would remain on my seminary table for five years. As a result, this room with green walls was transformed into a cell, truly my own, with the Beloved One who had brought me there.” 7 Having lived in the contemplation of the Holy Face during his entire seminary years, he chose it for the picture of his ordination card, on March 27, 1948. 8 Several times, when he had become the parish priest of Villemaur, he gathered his parishioners in a café, for want of sufficient space in the presbytery, in order to give them a slide presentation on the Holy Shroud.
Consequently, when our Father learned of the ostension of the Holy Shroud in Turin, he sent me there with Brother Joseph, especially since one of our friends offered two places in the bus that he was chartering for the pilgrims from Montpellier. Likewise, our Father encouraged many of our friends to go there, as a family or in groups. As he wrote in the League: “They were therefore among those 3,300,000 pilgrims who came to Turin during the 43 days of the ostension of the Holy Shroud. Here too, Christians ‘voted with their feet.’ This proves the persistence of the faith and the fervour of the faithful, and hardly any publicity had been made in high places, so many men of the Church claiming that the hierarchy does not have to pronounce itself on this questionable relic. I do not think, however, that it systematically has to gouge out its eyes in order not to see what the world’s most serious scientists see and show!”
As I was then to participate in the Scientific Congress on October 7 and 8, in my capacity as an exegete, our Father added: “It is absolutely astonishing that so many ecclesiastical disciplines, usually unrelated, for lack of a common object, are engaged in the study of the Holy Shroud and, I can already say, all of them are leading to the irrefutable demonstration of its authenticity as a true shroud of someone who was really crucified in such a way that only one single crucified person known, having risen from the dead, responds to the data provided by the very object: Jesus Christ!”
Thus, in this same year 1978, after having brought back from this Congress so many new observations and gathered important documentation for months, our Father sent me to hold meetings for members of the Catholic Counter-Reformation throughout France and as far as Belgium, then to give large public lectures on this Holy Shroud of Christ, ‘proof of the death and resurrection of Our Lord’ “This is a gift from God to our twentieth century for the awakening of the Faith in the world,” 9 he rejoiced. The following month, he exclaimed: “The Holy Shroud is God’s challenge to atheists and Modernists in the name of Science!” 10
PERPETUAL VOWS OF OUR FATHER.
In the joy of John Paul I’s accession and this ostension of the Holy Shroud, our Father announced another grace to our friends on September 3, 1978: in July, he had taken the slowly matured decision to pronounce his perpetual vows in accordance with our monastic Rule. Everything was becoming difficult, and as it seemed that the situation was going to drag on, he wanted to give his brothers and sisters, his friends and Our Lord, proof of his unwavering attachment to our Community, to our work and to our combat.
“September 15 will be the 20th anniversary of the foundation of our Community of the Little Brothers of the Sacred Heart, in Villemaur, and in the same stroke, I became its parish priest with the blessing of Bishop Le Couëdic of Troyes. He was fond of us then, under the pontificate of the great Pope Pius XII that was drawing to an end in immense glory (and also at the time of a French recovery, so cruelly reversed, on May 13, in Algeria, alas!) Twenty years. Twenty years of turmoil, and for how much longer? It was not a question of celebrating and I only decided to mark this day by pronouncing my perpetual vows on September 15, for my own spiritual advancement, but also to give all those, brothers, sisters, family members and friends who have come to us since September 15, 1958, a proof of fidelity to God, and to them, of a determined, definitive commitment to the Order that has been founded, on the path that has been traced out. The decision taken in July was announced on August 1.
“Now, in this month of August, a change has taken place, so great, so unanticipated, that we were no longer expecting it. Its beneficial effects are still hidden from our eyes: We have a Pope after the heart of God, after our own hearts! We will be able to celebrate, without ceremony of course, because I am still under a suspens a divinis, – for exactly twelve years now: my last mass in the village church was on August 25, 1966. Above all, I will be able to pronounce my vows in this spirit of filial trust and submission to the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth. This will be my most intense joy and consolation. It will be on September 15 at 11 a.m. in our Maison Saint-Joseph [...].”
Our Father expressed his thanksgiving for these twenty magnificent years of joys and sorrows, of hard work in the service of the Church. His elation was all the greater because it is shared, inspired in everyone by the piety, faith, sure righteousness, and goodness of the Common Father, making all hopes possible! “Twenty years of torment are over. We rediscover the Church, our Holy Church of September 1958, not necessarily in its external rites and forms, but in the Catholic Faith, supernatural hope, charitable love for God and neighbour. Joy then burst forth in a people that was beginning to suffocate: Long live Pope John Paul I, a man of God! He is the Holy Father, we are his children.” 11
For his part, Brother Gerard stated: “These vows are indeed of great importance. According to our Rule, they mark the beginning of a new state of life in a spirit of total renunciation, more distant and separated from the world, entirely devoted to the love of God and neighbour in contemplation, in the fraternity of the Community, and in the service of the Church and souls. There is no doubt that this will be a decisive step for him from which we will all benefit. For us it is a very delightful filial duty to surround him with our prayers and affection on this day [...].
“He had made his decision in the anguish of Paul VI’s pontificate. We cannot defend ourselves from seeing a felicitous sign that it will be fulfilled in the hope of the new pontificate and while, according to him, the dawn of the great Catholic Renaissance of the future is already breaking.” 12
On the evening of this beautiful day of September 15, our Father wrote: “The ceremony of my vows, the solemn Mass of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows and the little fraternal celebration that followed were all brightened and warmed by our new and ancient hope. The friends who had been able to come, the telegrams, hundreds of letters with many generous donations for the construction in progress, showed your participation in our present joy, and now that everyone has left again, the joy remains! Your confidence in our future that these perpetual vows come to strengthen with the help, mercy, and blessing of God also remains.
“My thanksgiving rises to Jesus and Mary with immense jubilation for the same reason that appears in all your letters, this concurrence – in which we dare to see a secret design of the omnipotent and infinite Wisdom of God – between the immense and holy elation of the Church set free, and a holy and already beloved Pontiff on the one hand, and on the other, our joy at the divine blessing felt on this day when my soul united with its spiritual Groom intimately and forever, surrounded by our twelve sons and twelve daughters, in the presence of my dear mother and my close family and all of you, our dear, devoted, generous and faithful friends. Yes, may God be praised infinitely and forever. The years to come may still be difficult, yet we have in our hearts the essential treasure, the one that will never be taken from us: we are at the service of Jesus Christ, in his Church, entirely at the service of God and the Fatherland... and something, some wonderful signs from these months of August and September, tells us that we are prevailing: the time for the Catholic Renaissance is now, and tomorrow for French restoration!” 13
A POPE WHO WAS A CATECHIST.
In fact, under the governance of John Paul I everything became possible again:
Before his election, Cardinal Luciani became alarmed about the spread of religious ignorance: “One gets used to teaching catechism in any manner whatever. On the pretext of using a new-style of language, one ends up drastically amputating and changing the content of the Faith.” Once he had become Pope, he announced his resolution: “I will make few speeches, they will be brief and understandable to everyone.” Straightaway, he inspired the humble faithful with enthusiasm by the very style of his allocutions, which were peppered with images, anecdotes, memories and parables. “How well he preaches! We can understand everything,” a working-class woman exclaimed. The journalist, Jean Bourdarias, recalled that this preaching had a precedent: “Pius X already taught catechism on Sundays, in the courtyard of the Vatican.” 14
For his first general audience on Wednesday, September 6, 1978, John Paul I preached on humility. Thus he began to purify the Church from ‘the pride of the reformers’, which Father de Nantes had denounced in his Letter to Paul VI 15.
“Before God,” the new Pope said, “the attitude of the just man is that of Abraham who said: ‘I am but dust and ashes before You, O Lord!’ We must see ourselves as small before God. When I say: ‘Lord, I believe,’ I am not at all ashamed of feeling like a little child before his mother; he believes in his mother; and I believe in the Lord, in what He has revealed to me.”
The audience of September 13, on faith, made the conciliar novelties come a long way behind the holy Catholic Tradition: “When the poor pope, when bishops and priests teach doctrine, they do but assist Jesus. This doctrine does not come from us but from Christ; we are merely its guardians, we must simply make it known.”
The following week his preaching on hope, the smile of Christian life, revealed his deep inner joy at knowing himself “swept up in a destiny of salvation that would one day open onto Paradise... I wish you had read an Easter Sunday sermon of Saint Augustine’s about the alleluia. The true alleluia, he said, will be sung by us in Paradise. It will be the alleluia of a love that is full. Here below we sing the alleluia of a love that remains unsatisfied, an alleluia of hope.”
On September 27, John Paul I continued this truly evangelical teaching by speaking of the third theological virtue, charity, as ever with the same joyous simplicity. It was on the eve of his death:
“In a word, to love means making a journey, running with all one’s heart towards the object loved. The Imitation of Christ says, ‘He who loves runs, flies and leaps with joy.’ (Book 3, Chapter 5:4) To love God is therefore to travel with one’s heart towards God. It is a really beautiful journey [...]. This journey also involves sacrifice, but this must not hold us back. Jesus is on the Cross. Do you want to embrace Him? You cannot do less, then, than to bend over the Cross and let yourself be pricked by a thorn from the crown on His Head (cf. Saint Francis de Sales, Œuvres, Annecy, Vol. 21, p. 153)”
A SPONTANEOUS CATHOLIC RENAISSANCE.
From the first days of his pontificate, John Paul I’s extraordinary charism for touching and warming hearts, provoked a spontaneous Catholic renaissance, which our Father celebrated:
“This Pope, religious and firm in the Faith, so good and so gracious, only had to appear to restore the heartfelt unity of the Christian people over the essential, which is the worship of God, faith in Him, personal piety, the labour of the virtues, and above all, brotherly love. The Church felt herself restored to life, freed from the stranglehold of post-conciliar novelties, from the tyranny of reformist intellectuals, from the intolerable demands of being open to the world. It was so simple then to be Catholic? The Pope’s smile showed and taught that not only was it simple but that it gave joy and happiness. Thus the immemorial alliance between Pope and people, which we had forgotten, had been reforged, far removed from the incomprehensible pestering of the reformist party and its supreme soviet [...].
“Our chefs de cercle were already reporting that a return was being made, not a coerced return, but spontaneous and joyful one, to the pure religion of the past, in parishes, thanks to their priests, in monasteries and in the Catholic press.” 16
When listening to John Paul I, Father de Nantes also noted that a great many of his remarks, said with kindness and humour, were tending to rectify ideas that the past fifteen years had kept topsy-turvy. He said that “he had good reason to believe that the times before the conciliar reformation were back, and, consequently, that tradition had undergone only a partial caesura, one that was more apparent than real. The Church would recover the ‘marvellous Aladdin’s lamp’ that his wife had foolishly given to the magician.”
The Pope had used this story of Aladdin’s lamp when he was the Patriarch of Venice, as the allegory of the change of catechisms. He drew this lesson from it: “Take care! The ideas offered by certain magicians, even though they may sparkle, are nothing but brass and will not last. Those that they call obsolete and old-fashioned are often God’s ideas, of which it is written that they will not pass.” 17
Pope John Paul I’s main preoccupation was to restore unity within the Church: “We must work together,” he declared in his discourse to the Cardinals on August 31, 1978, “let us try to give the world the sight of unity, even at the cost of a few sacrifices at times. We would have everything to lose by showing ourselves disunited to the world.”
Father de Nantes corresponded all the better to this concern, since he had founded the League of the Catholic Counter-Reformation with that sole aim. He advocated “a truce among Catholics, a truce which, by its very nature could, by being prolonged, re-establish peace within the Church” 18. The time had come: “For union, and for reconciliation,” our Father assured, “We are ready here to make great sacrifices provided that faith, hope and charity be safeguarded.” 19
God, however, had decided otherwise.
THE POPE OF THE HOLOCAUST.
It was under this title that Father de Nantes was preparing to write the chronicle of this first month of his reign, in order to reveal what was already brewing, when the news broke, the eve of our Congress:
“The Father given us by the Church amid universal joy on the evening of August 26, was suddenly called back to God Himself thirty-three days later during the night of September 28 to 29, for our sadness and consternation. ‘The Lord gave him and the Lord has taken him away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.’ (Jb 1:21) Yet on learning of this news on the morning of September 29, we all felt that we had been orphaned, the like of which had not occurred for twenty years.” 20
The editorial dedicated to the late Pope in the October issue presents such an analogy with the Third Secret of Fatima, which would only be revealed in the year 2000, that we are led to believe that our Father experienced and understood these events in the light of God, as they can be seen in Heaven:
“And we saw, in an immense light that is God, ‘something similar to the image a mirror reflects when a person passes in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in White – ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father [...]. He passed through a large city half in ruins and half trembling, with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the summit of the mountain, falling on his knees at the foot of the large Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him.”
“The people were feeling the touch of a mysterious grace,” our Father wrote in October 1978, “were sanctified by the passing of this innocent lamb and were moved by the sacrifice of this good Shepherd who had laid down his life for his sheep and whose sacrifice was accepted [...].
“He has left his mark on the papacy with his holy sign; he has washed it clean of its recent past and by his death he has made all things new in the Church. He will be quickly forgotten? I know; the modern world has no memory and is all in the present but the soul of the Church is faithful. If he works miracles, which would not at all surprise me, which is what I expect and hope for, then ‘being dead he still speaks.’ (Hb 11:4)
“Albino Luciani means white light, the lunar splendour that shines in the night sky and illuminates it with a beauty that it owes entirely to the sun whose reflection it is. Such was the humility of him who confessed that he was not the light but merely wished to be amongst us as its mirror. His was the wisdom of a Vicar of Christ who wished to know nothing amongst us but Jesus and Jesus Crucified, taking leave of all those human concerns that were choking, darkening and bewildering the Church.
“For my part, I interpret the death of John-Paul I as a holocaust accepted by God for the salvation of His Church and the peace of the world. Similarly, that other mysterious death, that of the Patriarch of Leningrad who collapsed in the library and died in the arms of the Pope, who absolved him, 21 appears to me as a prophetic sign of Russia’s conversion through the return of the Communists to the true Faith and the reunion of the Eastern schismatics with the Roman Church. For Nikodim was a Communist and a k.g.b. agent who, through grace, became a fervent Orthodox and was so caught in the game of his international functions that he ardently desired this Christian unity, which God allowed him to live in his death and which put the seal of authenticity on his last words – words of love for the Church!
“There is nothing terrifying in such deaths. On the contrary they speak of the divine mercy and of ‘that time of peace,’ which Heaven will grant the world at the prayer of the Immaculate Heart of Mary through the conversion of Russia and the renaissance and universal expansion of the Roman Catholic Faith in the great labour of the Sun.” 22
MARTYR OF HIS BROTHERS.
“They have killed him!” the Romans murmured while filing past the body of the common Father, so brutally taken away from their affection. “God has permitted the death of His servant, that is for sure,” Father de Nantes commented, “and the Church will now continue along the same path despite Her enemies. For myself, I do not separate the dossiers from the bearers of these dossiers in this murder. It was opening the secret dossiers of Paul VI that killed holy Pope John-Paul I [...]. The dossiers are the cancer that is in the Church, the leukaemia of disorder, apostasy and widespread immorality officially installed and flattered by the hierarchy from top to bottom [...], the immense autodestruction of the Church and the smoke of Satan, of which the previous Pope spoke so eloquently. Cardinal Luciani had never imagined the extent of all that, having left such matters to Supreme Authority whilst he got on with carrying out his own responsibilities to perfection, keeping a rein on everything in his Patriarchate of Venice without tolerating the least disorder. Now here is what killed him: he had seen the necessity of getting out of the peaceful rut of a wise reformism, decidedly Conciliar; he knew that it would be necessary to cut into the quick and fight the post-conciliar disorder. If he felt too weak to engage in such a struggle, then he died of it; if, on the other hand, he had decided to put up a fight immediately, then they may indeed have killed him.” 23
In 1979, Father de Nantes heard the precise testimony of a Roman personality about John Paul I’s demise. According to this source, the Pope had been poisoned by a mortal dose of digitalis that he had swallowed thinking that he was taking his usual medicine. That is why in his conference of November 24, 1979, Father de Nantes evoked the criminal hand that “tripled the dose of digitalis, on September 28, 1978.” 24
The implacable demonstration that the English journalist David Yallop published in his book ‘In the Name of God,’ in 1984, confirmed the truth of all that our Father had learned and presumed: John Paul I was preparing to put an end to Bishop Paul Marcinkus’ financial wrongdoings and frauds. Paul VI had placed Bishop Marcinkus at the head of the Vatican Bank 25, and he was assisted or financed by Milanese and Sicilian Mafiosi, as well as by swindlers of the P 2 lodge, among whom was its Grand Master, Licio Gelli.
On September 28, 1978, John Paul I began to take action. The next morning, at exactly 5.00 am, a Vatican car was at the door of the Signoracci brothers, the Roman embalmers. The car had thus left the Vatican to fetch them even before the Pope was found dead in his bathroom! This fact is part of a set of clues and bits of evidence that prove that John Paul I was assassinated by poisoning. The astounding revelations of the English journalist whose enquiry Father de Nantes immediately reviewed, 26 have been confirmed by subsequent events.
THE LESSONS FROM A BRIEF PONTIFICATE.
Unlike so many other Popes, adulated while alive, forgotten after their death, the memory of him who was called “the smiling Pope” will long continue to speak to the heart of the Church. The lessons of his 33 day long pontificate will always be topical.
Thus, despite the Second Vatican Council’s errors, schisms, and scandals, holiness still subsisted in the Church, and not only in the camp of the declared opponents of the conciliar reforms. Pure, submissive souls remained unscathed by heresy and schism, despite the fact that they had rallied – out of innocent obedience – to the new doctrines that they wanted to comprehend in a traditional Catholic sense. Our Father pointed this out to me one day as regards Sister Lucy: in His wisdom God could allow that one of His inspired children be misled without any offence to Himself, in order that the mass of the faithful who follow the Pope without any real understanding may be excused for allowing themselves to be misled. He gave me the example of Albino Luciani who accepted religious freedom. That was before the disclosure of the Secret of Fatima. What a premonition!
When the exact circumstances of John Paul I’s assassination were known, our Father drew another lesson from this pontificate:
“This idolatry of Money, which has become the essential blot on our modern world, has succeeded in corrupting everything, now that it holds sway in the House of God.” Albino Luciani had “taken stock of this plague of international capitalism, this immense anonymous and vagabond fortune so ruinous for families, Christian institutions and States, and he had understood that this was the deepest evil afflicting our modern society. Thereafter, in all that concerned him, it was this evil that he attacked.
“Once elected Pope, he would reform the Church to bring back the poverty of the Gospel, in reality as well as in the heart. Beginning with Rome, and in Rome with the Vatican, and in the Vatican with its bank. It is because he vigorously undertook this difficult and dangerous cleansing operation that he died [...].
“I shall no longer say with Dostoyevsky: beauty will save the world. Nor will I say with Maurras: the monarchy will save the world. Nor shall I even say, as I have myself so often thought and repeated: faith will save the world. Now I see in the gentle light of the first martyr pope of the modern capitalist era: it is through Poverty that a purified Roman Church will save the world.” 27
THE ELECT OF OUR LADY.
Finally, the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima in 2000 offered us the key to the mystery by revealing to the Church that John Paul I, martyr for and because of his brethren, was the elect of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. When the Patriarch of Venice had met with the seer in her Carmel of Coimbra on July 11, 1977, 28 Sister Lucy had mysteriously foretold to him one year before his election! She revealed to him that his pontificate would be short and would end tragically. Albino Luciani, determined to carry out the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary “according to the indications the Blessed Virgin had given to Lucy, 29” entered into this divine plan with the docility of a child, concealing the awesome secret that concerned him beneath a smile that became more and more heroic each day.
This holy Pontiff appears to us as the figure who announces the Pope of our expectations. He will have a poor man’s soul and enough true devotion and interior humility to satisfy the demands of Our Lady of Fatima in an act of obedience and filial love towards Her Immaculate Heart.
Our Father, entering the inner thoughts of the Queen of Heaven composed, during the summer of 2000, and placed on Her lips, this ‘Complaint of Love and Mercy’:
“My good children, be not afraid! Take a look through this glass which is the reflection of Heaven. See this man dressed in white; it is the Holy Father in September 1978. Scarcely was he dead than he was embalmed; ignored as though he had never existed.
“In this matter, however, Someone cannot forget: it is I, his Mother, and ever since this assassination, this martyrdom, I, Mary of Seven Sorrows, abandoning those whose hands are covered in blood, I watch over events with My unique Son, My confidant, the secret witness of all, your noble Pastor, Albino Luciani.
“I beheld him in that pure light which is God, passing like a glorious body for which an immense glory was reserved. My Immaculate Heart beat, ready to break with maternal love, for he was the object of the tenderness of My God, yet he appeared oblivious of this.
“The Angel who was preparing his path once again cried out in a manner sufficient to stir the very depths of the earth: Penance! Penance! Penance!
“However, the world, on the left of My splendour, was choking on its own fury and hatred, but My Prince, My Priest, set little store by this; on the contrary he smiled, with a divine grace, like My Christ in times past.” 30
The immense and celestial peace that our Father felt when he pronounced his perpetual vows in the middle of the sorrowfully brief reign of John Paul I, was for him and us, his children, an extraordinary solace and an encouragement to stand firm in the tempest that was going to arise again, and which is still raging!
CCR no. 102, September 1978, p. 1
CCR no. 102, September 1978, p. 1
CCR no. 102, September 1978, p. 3.
CCR no. 102, September 1978, p. 15.
CCR no. 103, October 1978, p. 4.
Memory and anecdotes, t. 1, chap. 21.
Memory and anecdotes T. 2, chap. 1, p. 11.
Cf. supra, chap. 9, p. 114.
CCR no. 103, October 1978, p. 7.
CRC no. 135, November 1978, p. 13.
CCR no. 102, September 1978, p. 15.
Confidential letter of August 25, 1978.
Letter to Our Friends no. 26 of September 15, 1978.
Quoted by Brother François of Marie des Anges, “ John Paul I, The Pope of the Secret, ” p. 336. The following quotations are taken from the pages 338-339 of this book.
Cf. supra, p. 236-237.
CCR no. 103, October 1978, ‘The Saint that God Gave Us,’ p. 1.
Humblement vôtre, éd. Nouvelle Cité, 1978, p. 299.
Tract no. 2, supplement to CRC n° 39, December 1979.
CCR no. 102, September 1978, p. 6.
CCR no. 103, ‘The Saint that God Gave Us,’ p. 1.
On September 5, 1978, Pope John Paul I gave an audience to the Orthodox Patriarch of Leningrad and KGB agent, Nikodim, who spoke of the Church with love, extolling unity and the urgency of reunion. A few moments later, he died in the arms of the Pope who piously gave him sacramental absolution.
CCR no. 103, ‘The Saint that God Gave Us,’ p. 2.
CCR no. 103, ‘The Saint that God Gave Us,’ p. 3.
CRC no. 148, December 1979, p. 3.
The i. o. r., i.e. Institute for the Works of Religion.
CCR no. 172 October 1984. Yallop’s book was republished in 2011.
CRC no. 203, August 1984 p. 7.
Cf. Brother François of Marie des Anges, “John Paul I, The Pope of the Secret,” pp. 314-320.
Cf. Brother François of Marie des Anges, “John Paul I, The Pope of the Secret,” p. 347.
Manuscript dated from July 15, 2000, and partly reproduced in Resurrection no. 16, April 2002, p. 2, and in He is Risen no. 40, December 2005, pp. 2-3.