At the beatification of Pope Luciani the miraculous is absent. Justified?

Candela Giarda, the 22-year-old Argentine who in 2011 risked dying from severe encephalopathy, remained in Paranà. Because she broke her foot in the gym. But her 'desertion' amazes everyone a little

  CANALE D AGORDO - THE TOWN OF POPE LUCIANI Albino Luciani, the 'Pope of smiles'

At the beatification ceremony of Pope Luciani, which is held this morning in St. Peter's Square, in the Vatican, there will not be, as expected, Candela Giarda, the twenty-two-year-old Argentine who at 11 was in danger of dying from severe acute inflammatory encephalopathy. Thanks to her healing, which took place on 23 July 2011 and considered miraculous, John Paul I of her becomes blessed. Candela remained in Argentina, in Paranà, because she broke her foot in the gym. So it was communicated by the press office of the Holy See. And so she told in a video, thanking Pope Francis and the John Paul I Foundation for the invitation to participate in the liturgy and promising to visit the tomb of Pope Luciani in the future.

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THE 'SINGULAR' RELICS - The young woman was supposed to bring a relic of the Venetian Pontiff during the ceremony presided over by Pope Francis. The relic, a sheet of Luciani's notes on the theological virtues (faith, hope and charity), dated 1956 with subsequent additions in pencil, will instead be entrusted to Lina Petri, grandson of Albino Luciani and representative of the John Paul I Vatican Foundation. in a reliquary made by the sculptor Franco Murer: it has a stone base, coming from Canale d'Agordo, Luciani's hometown - in the province of Belluno - and a wooden cross from a tree fallen in the storm Vaia, the flood that hit the north-east of our country in 2018. The choice of the relic is singular: usually it is a fragment of the body, in this case a fragment of pastoral memory has been chosen.

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WAS EXPECTED WITH MOTHER - Candela was expected in the Vatican with her mother Roxana Sousa, who, together with father José Dabusti, had invoked the intercession of Pope Luciani when her daughter was hospitalized in critical condition at the Favaloro Foundation, an important hospital in Buenos Aires. Father Dabusti, at that time a priest in the parish of the clinic, had prayed to John Paul I in a dramatic moment for Candela. 'I have always felt a strong bond with Luciani,' says Father Dabusti, who arrived in the Vatican from Argentina, from the parish of Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes in Belgrano, neighborhood (quarter) of Buenos Aires.

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SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY - And so he tells of Candela's recovery. “She was considered life threatening. Maybe she wouldn't make it through the night. So in that darkness of the soul the prayer was intense and in the morning, when I learned that the child was better, I realized that something extraordinary had happened. I have always considered Candela's improvement a prodigious event, beyond the recognition of the miracle ». Candela's absence at the beatification ceremony is a little surprising. For the canonization of John Paul II, in 2014, Floribeth Mora Diaz, the Costa Rican woman who brought Wojtyla to the altars, after the recognition of the miraculous healing from aneurysm, was present in the Vatican. The beatification of John Paul I, which comes after a cause for canonization that lasted 19 years, seems to be based heavily on the spiritual and pastoral dimension of Luciani and less on the miraculous event, which in any case is required to arrive at the proclamation of blessed.

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A LITTLE MATURE FAITH '- Father Dabusti, who was also a collaborator of Bergoglio when he was in Buenos Aires, reiterates that Candela had a foot problem that prevented the trip from Argentina to Italy. And if you ask him to talk about the spirituality of the young woman, which she is now studying veterinary and which she has told in the past, she too Today , that he knows little about Pope Luciani, reflects looking for the right words and says that he notices a simple faith in her. 'Perhaps she too is not very mature, as happens to many young people in this contemporary age', observes Father Dabusti with a smile. Candela was also expected in Veneto, in Canale d’Agordo, in the places of Pope Luciani. It could have been a way to get to know the Pontiff who becomes blessed up close. Someone had already bought her dress for the beatification ceremony.

THE TESTIMONY OF THE GRAND DAUGHTER - In these days, there are many testimonies on the life of Albino Luciani, who died on 28 September 1978: also those of Lina Petri and Don Guido Todeschini, founder of Telepace. The niece of the Venetian Pontiff, daughter of her sister Antonia, recalled when Albino Luciani, about the meeting between Mussolini and Hitler which took place in Belluno in July 1943, said in a phone call to his sister: 'We are in the hands of two madmen' (in dialect). And when the uncle who would become Pope had no doubts about the answer to be given to the bishops of Friuli regarding the public and Catholic funeral of Pier Paolo Pasolini, killed in 1975. 'He did not condemn, he sought the good in everything', says Lina Petri. At that time Albino Luciani was patriarch of Venice and cardinal.

THE SMILE POPE - John Paul I is often remembered as the 'Pope of the smile', for his simple communication style. 'But besides there was erudition, literary and theological knowledge. Thus, to talk about charity in audience he refers to Dante and to reflect on the sense of truth that must reach everyone, he goes back to St. Augustine ', underlines Stefania Falasca, vice-postulator of the cause of beatification and vice-president of the Vatican Foundation John Paul I. And he remembers his commitment in the search for the 7 lamps of sanctification, that is, through the three theological virtues and the 4 cardinals (that is, prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance which have a hinge function).

ONLY 34 DAYS - Albino Luciani was on the throne of Peter only 34 days (usually we are used to saying 33, but today we tend to this new count having disappeared in the night between 28 and 29 September, when he was found dead in his bed as a sister Vincenza Taffarel and Sister Margherita Marin). And he was not thinking of becoming Pope in 1978, considered the year of the three Popes (that is, Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II). This was also revealed by an unpublished document shown (on September 2) by Fr Guido Todeschini in the program Open line by Telepace. The priest showed the note that the Patriarch of Venice, before entering the conclave - the date is 'Rome, 24-8-1978' - addressed to the then bishop of Verona, Monsignor Giuseppe Carraro. “Fortunately, I am absolutely out of danger and I will come to see you as soon as possible. I will certainly not be elected ', reads the document that will become the patrimony of the John Paul I Vatican Foundation. In the initial part of the note there are also these words:' I pray for the Church and for what the cardinals will elect to succeed the late Paul VI ». Cardinal Albino Luciani thinks that the new Pope 'will have an even more difficult task' than that carried out by Montini. Two days later, on August 26, he climbs to the Soglio di Pietro. And now he becomes blessed.

Maria Giuseppina Buonanno