Saturday, October 16, 2021

Saint Paul VI, Pope – Feast Day – May 29

Pope Saint Paul VI was also called Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini. He was born on September 26 1897 in Concesio, Brescia, Lombardy, Kingdom of Italy. He was pope of the Catholic Church from June 21 1963 until August 6 1978 when he died at Castel Gandolfo, Italy. His feast day is celebrated on May 29 every year.

Saint Paul VI, Pope Biography
Date of Birth September 26 1897
Place of Birth Concesio, Brescia, Lombardy, Kingdom of Italy
Profession Pope and Bishop of Rome
Place of Work Milan and Rome in Italy
Date of Death August 6 1978
Place of Death Castel Gandolfo, Italy
Feast Day May 29
Beatification by Pope Francis on October 19 2014 in Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City.
Canonization October 14 2018 by Pope Francis in Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City
Patron Saint of
  • Second Vatican Council
  • Paul VI Pontifical Institute
  • Paderno Dugnano
  • Other popes named Paul
  • Magenta
  • Diocese of Brescia
  • Concesio
  • Archdiocese of Milan

Life History

Pope Paul VI was baptised on September 30 1897, and attended the Jesuits-run Cesare Arici school. Although his education was interrupted severally by sickness, he received his diploma in 1916 from the Arnaldo da Brescia public school.

He joined the seminary in 1916 to become a Catholic priest and four years later in May 29 1920, he was ordained priest in Brescia and celebrated his first Holy Mass in the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie Brescia.

Pope Paul VI completed his doctorate in Canon Law studies in Milan and afterwards he studied at several more universities namely; the University of Rome La Sapienza, the Gregorian University, and at the Accademia dei Nobili Ecclesiastici.

At the age of twenty-five, in 1922, he entered the Secretariat of State. This made him not ever to get an appointment as a parish priest.

Religious Life

In 1923, Montini was posted the Holy See as Secretary in the office of the papal nuncio in Poland. He experienced instances whereby he wrote that the form of nationalism there treated foreigners as enemies. This was to be used against him many years later, when he became pope, when the Communist government of Poland denied him permission to go on a Marian pilgrimage to Poland.

Montini had great organisational skills and this landed him a career in the papal civil service called the Roman Curia. He was appointed to the Pontifical Academy for Diplomats to teach history in 1931.

His mentor, Giuseppe Pizzardo was named a cardinal in 1937 and appointed Montini as the Substitute for Ordinary Affairs under Cardinal Pacelli.

In 1939, Cardinal Pacelli became Pope Pius XII and confirmed Montini’s appointment as a Substitute who would work under Luigi Maglione, the new Cardinal Secretary of State. That role was roughly like that of a chief of staff, and therefore, Montini would meet with the pope every morning until 1954.

Pius XII did not have a personal secretary during the 2nd World War. Therefore, Montini as part of the Secretary of State would receive thousands of letters from all parts of the world, which had been sent to the pope. He would reply to them on behalf of the pope providing help, where possible and expressing his empathy, and understanding.

During that time of war Pope Pius XII requested Montini to create an information office regarding refugees and prisoners of war. Between 1939 until 1947, around 10 million requests for information about missing persons were received in the office and over 11 million replies were released

Due to the nature of his work, Montini was attacked by Benito Mussolini’s government several times for allegedly involving himself in politics, but he was fiercely defended by the Holy See.

When Luigi Maglione, the Cardinal Secretary of State died in 1944, Pius XII jointly appointed Montini and Tardini together heads of Secretariat of State. Each was given the title of Pro-Secretary of State.

Archbishop of Milan

In 1954, Montini was appointed to succeed Cardinal Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster as Archbishop of Milan After his death. This made Montini the Secretary of the Italian Bishops Conference.

Montini was consecrated as a bishop by Cardinal Eugène Tisserant in St. Peter’s Basilica on December 12 1954. By this time, Pope Pius XII stayed in bed due to a severe illness but, from his sick-bed and over the radio, presented Archbishop Giovanni Battista Montini as ‘his personal gift to Milan’.

Archbishop Montini Believed that churches are the most necessary place of spiritual rest. He therefore, built of over 100 new churches for contemplation and service.

Most people perceived him as liberal because he preached that the faithfuls should not only love their fellow Catholics, but other believers like Muslims, Anglicans, Protestants, and also the schismatics, the indifferent, pagans and atheists.

In 1958, some cardinals have the view that Archbishop Montini was a very likely and potential candidate to become the next pope. papabile, a likely candidate to become pope.

Cardinal Montini

In the 1958 conclave, Archbishop Montini received some votes but because he was not yet a cardinal, he did not clinch that position. When Angelo Roncalli was elected pope on October 28 1958 (and took the name Pope John XXIII), he announced the creation of new cardinals on 17 November 17 1958 and Archbishop Montini was made a cardinal in 15 December 15 1958. He became Cardinal-Priest of San Martino ai Monti, which is a minor basilica in Rome, Italy, in the Rione Monti neighbourhood.

Cardinal Montini made visits to many places. In 1960 he visited Brazil and the USA including Washington DC, The University of Notre Dame in Indiana, Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago, Boston and Baltimore. In 1962 he visited Sudan, South Africa, Rhodesia, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Congo.

Pope Paul VI

On June 3 1963, Pope John XXIII died of stomach cancer. This occassioned the papal conclave to elect a new pope. Cardinal Montini was viewed as the most likely successor to Pope John XXIII because of his administrative and pastoral background and also closeness to both Pope John XXIII and Pope Pius XII.

Cardinal Montini’s election at the Papal conclave had an incident when on June 20, Cardinal Gustavo Testa wanted to thwart Montini’s election. Gustavo after losing his temper, demanded that Cardinal Montini’s opponents halt their actions. Montini feared that his candidacy would bring division among the cardinal and rose to give up his candidature, This was however averted when Cardinal Giovanni Urbani dragged Montini back to his seat and told him to shut up!

On June 21 during the sixth ballot of the papal conclave, Montini was elected pope and took the name of “Paul VI” in honour of Paul the Apostle.

Pope Paul VI was the last pope to date to be crowned on June 30 1963. In 1963, Pope Paul VI produced the tiara and said it will sold and the proceeds would be given to charity.

The tiara was purchased and it is now displayed as a gift to American Catholics in Washington, D.C. in the crypt of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Pope Paul VI decided to continue with the Vatican II process and in 1965 brought it to completion. Although there were conflicting controversies and interpretations, he directed that its reform goals be implemented.

During his pontificate, Pope Paul VI beatified 38 blesseds and canonized 84 saints. Also notably, it is him who made the three popes who came after him cardinals. They are;

  • Albino Luciani (Pope John Paul I) was made cardinal on March 5 1973
  • Karol Józef Wojtyła (Pope John Paul II) was made cardinal on June 26 1967
  • Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) was made cardinal on June 27 1977

The Ecumenical Council

On September 29 1963, Pope Paul VI re-opened the Ecumenical Council and gave it four key priorities namely; A better understanding of the Catholic Church, Church reforms, Advancing the unity of Christianity and Dialogue with the world.

Pope Paul VI asked the Council fathers not to repeat or create new dogmatic definitions. He advised them to explain how the church sees itself in simple and clear words.

In attendance to the Ecumenical Council were representatives of other Christian communities. He thanked and begged them for their forgiveness if at all they felt that the Catholic Church was guilty of separation.

It was after the end of the third session on November 21 1964 that Pope Paul VI made the formal pronouncement of Mary as Mother of the Church. He also announced reforms in the following areas;

  • Roman Curia
  • Revision of Canon Law
  • Regulations for mixed marriages involving several faiths
  • Birth control issues.

Synod of Bishops

On 14 September 1965, Pope Paul VI established the Synod of Bishops which would be an advisory body to the papacy and the permanent institution of the Catholic Church.

On August 6 1966, Pope Paul VI requested all bishops that upon reaching their 75th birthday, they, out of their own free will, tender their resignation to the pontiff. This was extended to the cardinals on November 21 1970 that upon reaching their 80th birthday they do likewise.

Pope Paul VI Attempted Assassination

During one of his foreign travels, Pope Paul VI visited the Philippines on November 27 1970. Upon arriving at the airport in Manila, Philippines, the Pope, was closely escorted by Pasquale Macchi, who was his private secretary and President Ferdinand Marcos. There they were accosted by a man in a cassock and a crew-cut hairstyle who tried to stab the Pope with a knife but his private secretary, Pasquale Macchi, pushed the man away.

This guy with a knife was identified as Benjamin Mendoza y Amor, aged 35 years from La Paz, Bolivia.

Pope Saint Paul VI Birth

He was born on September 26 1897 in Concesio, Brescia, Lombardy, Kingdom of Italy

Pope Saint Paul VI Death

Pope Paul VI had participated in Sunday Mass at 18:00 from his bed and after communion, the he suffered a severe heart attack. Three hours later on August 6 1978 at 21:41 he died in Castel Gandolfo, Italy at the age of 80 years..

Parents

Pope Saint Paul VI’s mother was Giudetta Alghisi and his father was called Giorgio Montini. He was a member of the Italian Parliament, journalist, lawyer and director of the Catholic Action.

Brothers

Pope Saint Paul VI had two brothers namely Lodovico Montini, who was a politician and a lawyer and the other was Francesco Montini, who was a physician.

Pope Saint Paul VI Beatification

The process for beatification for Pope Paul VI was opened on May 11 1993 in Rome under Pope John Paul II. This was after the “nihil obstat” (“nothing against”) was declared in his favour. Pope Benedict XVI declared on December 20 2012 Pope Paul VI “Venerable”.

On December 12 2013, Vatican officials approved a miracle where, after the intercession of Pope Paul VI, an unborn child was cured in California, U.S.A in the 1990s. From July 7 2003 until July 12 2004 This miracle was investigated in California.

Pope Paul VI was beatified by Pope Francis on October 19 2014 in Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City.

Pope Saint Paul VI Canonization

The final miracle that was needed to approve Pope Paul VI canonisation happened in Verona, Italy. A miracle happened after two parents, Vanna and Alberto, sought the intercession of Pope Paul VI that their unborn daughter survives after the mothers placenta broke long before the expected delivery date. The unborn child survived and was born on December 25 2014 and named Amanda Maria Paola. The investigations to this miracle was closed on 11 March 2017.

On March 6 2018, the Pope Francis confirmed the healing as a miracle and on October 14 2018, Pope Paul VI was canonized by Pope Francis in Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City

Pope Saint Paul VI Feast Day

Pope Paul VI’s feast day was previously celebrated on September 26 which was the date of his birth, but in 2019 it was moved to May 29 which is the day of his priestly ordination.

Relics

Pope Paul VI had written a will that he be burried in the “true earth”. He is buried in a grave beneath the crypt floor of Saint Peter’s Basilica but near the tombs of other popes.

Pope Saint Paul VI is the Patron Saint of

Pope Saint Paul VI is the patron saint of

  • Second Vatican Council
  • Paul VI Pontifical Institute
  • Paderno Dugnano
  • Other popes named Paul
  • Magenta
  • Diocese of Brescia
  • Concesio
  • Archdiocese of Milan
Pope Saint Paul VI
Pope Saint Paul VI

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