Pope's Address at Screening of Film on John Paul I

"Teacher of Truth and Passionate Catechist"

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 9, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave Sunday afternoon, after watching the premiere of the film "Pope Luciani: The Smile of God."



The film, produced by the Italian public television channel RAI, was viewed at the headquarters of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. Present for the occasion were the president of RAI, senator Claudio Petruccioli; the director, Giorgio Capitani; and Neri Marcore, the actor who plays the role of Albino Luciani, who became Pope John Paul I.

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ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
AT THE PREVIEW OF THE FILM
"POPE LUCIANI, GOD'S SMILE"

Palazzo San Carlo
Sunday, 8 October 2006

Mr President of RAI,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Together, we have just seen this beautiful film that chronicles the most important milestones in the life of my venerable Predecessor, the Servant of God John Paul I.

I feel the need to express my deep gratitude first of all to you, Mr President, and then to the Board of Administration and the General Director of RAI, for giving this pleasant opportunity to me and my collaborators.

I greet those responsible for RAI Fiction and for the Società Leone Cinematografica who conceived and produced this interesting feature. I extend my special greetings and thanks to Georgio Capitani, the director, and to the various actors, with a special mention for Neri Marcoré who played the role of Albino Luciani.

I also cordially greet all of you who accepted the invitation to come to this meeting, where we have been able to relive evocative moments in the life of the Church in the past century.

In particular, we have been able to revisit the sweet and gentle figure of a Pontiff who was strong in faith, firm in principles but ever ready with a welcome and a smile.

Faithful to tradition and open to renewal, the Servant of God Albino Luciani, as Priest, Bishop and Pope, was unflagging in his pastoral activity, constantly encouraging clergy and lay people alike to pursue in the various fields of the apostolate the one common ideal of holiness.

A teacher of truth and a passionate catechist, he reminded all believers with his customary fascinating simplicity of the work and joy of evangelization, emphasizing the beauty of Christian love, the one force that can defeat violence and build a more fraternal humanity.

Lastly, I would like to recall his devotion to Our Lady. When he was Patriarch of Venice he wrote: "It is impossible to conceive of our life, the life of the Church, without the Rosary, the Marian feasts, Marian shrines and images of Our Lady".

It is beautiful to accept his invitation and, as he did, to find in humble entrustment to Mary the secret of daily serenity and effective work for peace in the world.

Once again, dear friends, thank you for your presence. I bless all of you and your loved ones with affection.

[Translation by Holy See]

© Copyright 2006 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana