In the long history of civilization, few individuals have transformed the hearts, minds, and souls of hundreds of millions of people the world over.

Albino Luciani was one of them.

As pope for only 33 days, he profoundly inspired people of different lands, different cultures, different languages, and different religious beliefs to embrace faith, hope, and love — virtues that, along with humility, characterized Luciani’s very essence.

He radiated the smile of God, (“Il sorriso di Dio,” as his fellow Italians called it) and in so doing, illuminated the globe with the endless possibilities for doing good that lie within each of us.

Luciani, who took the first double name in papal history, John Paul, in honor of his two immediate predecessors was an instant sensation. So many people appeared in St. Peter’s Square for his Wednesday general audiences that two separate sessions were held to accommodate all who wished to see and hear him.

In his all-too-brief pontificate, he profoundly changed the nature of the papacy for all time. Yet, perhaps because he was pope for only 33 days, no full-length biographies in English have been published. I have joyously taken it upon myself to tell his incredible tale. Love Is a Journey, a line from the talk he gave the day before his death, is an intimate look at Albino Luciani from birth to his cause for canonization. pen in hand

For several years I have labored to unearth previously unpublished facts of his life and was able to collect this information through interviews with his relatives and closest associates. I am eager to publish the pope’s story so that the English speaking world can benefit from the knowledge of this man’s exemplary life.

I still have “miles to go before I sleep” but the manuscript is steadily taking shape. Until its publication, though, I hope the ever-expanding information on this site will pique the interest of those who know little or nothing about the “Smiling Pope” whose humility, gentleness, and love uplifted people around the globe. His amazing story has the power to improve the quality of our lives in profound ways.




 Mo Guernon, Ed.M. / Biographer