By Linda Bordoni
At 5pm on Friday, August 2, the first visitors will be welcomed into the Alpine home where Albino Luciani grew up.
The village where he was born, in the magnificent Dolomite Mountains, 976 meters above sea level, is called Canale d’Agordo. It was once an economic hub for the entire Biois Valley thanks to mining and forging activities. Now, every year, pilgrims come to visit the place that gave birth to Pope Albino Luciani: the Smiling Pope.
A place of considerable interest
A press release informs that the house, that became the property of the diocese following a deed signed in June, has not yet officially been inaugurated. However, as promised by Bishop Corrado Pizziolo of Vittorio Veneto, “everything is being done so that pilgrims can visit the ground floor and the first floor of the house where Luciani was born and was baptized as from the beginning of August.”
Thus, he said, “it is a place of considerable interest!”
In recent weeks, local authorities have arranged for gardeners to spruce up the area that leads from the road to the front door of the house.
The ‘Pope Luciani Foundation’ meanwhile, has offered to provide guides to accompany tourists and pilgrims into the house, as part of a tour that includes a visit to the Albino Luciani Museum and to the parish church.
An afternoon dedicated to John Paul I
The opening of the house on August 2 is one of many events dedicated to Pope John Paul I.
Earlier in the afternoon, Cardinal Beniamino Stella, Postulator of the Cause for the Canonization of John Paul I, will present a book by the Deputy Postulator, Stefania Falasca, in collaboration with Davide Fiocco and historian Mauro Velati.
The text represents the first complete biography of Albino Luciani, conducted with a historical and critical method based on archive sources, a vast bibliography and the testimony of 188 people. These include the testimonies of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, of Dr Renato Buzzonetti, the physician who certified the death of Albino Luciani, and of Sister Margherita Marin, a nun who worked in the papal apartment at the time of John Paul I.
In the evening, a round table event moderated by the director of the ‘Pope Luciani Foundation’, Loris Serafini, will discuss the publication of a book by Antonio Preziosi entitled “Giovanni Paolo I. Indimenticabile.”