Franciscan Popes – Part 11

Franciscan Popes – Part 11

Other Popes making significant contributions to Francescana

Pope Paul VI

Pope Paul VI approved the updated Rule for the OFS in 1978.

Pope John Paul I

Pope John Paul I, born Albino Luciani, was elected pope in August of 1978. Reigning only thirty-three days, he died on September 28, 1978. Preaching a memorial Mass in Munich in 1978, Cardinal Ratzinger (to become Pope Benedict XVI) said that although Albino Luciani died on September 28 he was buried on October 4, the feast of St. Francis, “the amiable saint whom he so much resembled.”

Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II visited Assisi a number of times, including only a few days after his election, in November 1978. He was also a long-time friend of the friars in Kraków. In November 1979, he named St. Francis “Patron of Ecology.” In October1986, he hosted the first inter-religious “World Day of Prayer for Peace” in Assisi. He beatified Franciscan John Duns Scotus in 1993. He canonized Conventual Franciscans Maximilian Kolbe in 1982 and Francesco Antonio Fasani in 1986.

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI’s post-doctoral work was “St. Bonaventure’s Theology of History.” As a Cardinal, he wrote on the Portiuncula Indulgence. In January 2010, a general audience was dedicated to St. Francis. On July 7, 2010, a general audience was dedicated to John Duns Scotus. Benedict also had a Conventual spiritual director, Fr. Mariusz Paczóski (+2012).

Pope Francis

Pope Francis I, in March 2013, explained that he chose the name “Francis” to honor the man of poverty, of peace, and as a lover of creation. He wrote on the Care of Creation – in his encyclical “Laudato Si,” (2015) and in “Laudate Deum”: and Apostolic Exhortations to all people of good will on the climate crisis (2023). In his encyclical Fratelli Tutti  (2020), he writes on fraternity and social friendship using St. Francis’ fraternal love, simplicity, and joy as inspiration.