Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Catholic World News News Feature

Pope John Paul I predicted his death and his successor, secretary says May 04, 2006

Pope John Pau I, who died barely a month after his election in 1978, predicted his own death, according to his former secretary.

Bishop John Magee, the Irish prelate who served as personal secretary to Pope John Paul I and later to Pope John Paul II, told the Italian weekly Gente that the newly elected Pontiff considered himself too fragile to last in office. He was to die in bed, apparently of a heart attack, in less than 5 weeks.

Shortly after his election, Bishop Magee reported, the new Pope told him: "I'll never leave Rome. I'll be going soon."

Cardinal Albino Luciani was surprised by his election in the first conclave of 1978, and during his 34 days as Roman Pontiff he never ceased to wonder at the cardinals' choice, his former secretary reported. He once told Bishop Magee that there were better candidates, including "that cardinal who was sitting facing me" at the August 1978 conclave.

Bishop Magee learned that the prelate sitting opposite Cardinal Luciani at that time was Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II.