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Pope Paul VI : biography

26 September 1897 - 6 August 1978

Pope Paul VI ( ), born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini (26 September 1897 – 6 August 1978), was the head of the Catholic Church from 21 June 1963 to his death in 1978. Succeeding Pope John XXIII, he continued the Second Vatican Council and fostered improved ecumenical relations with Orthodox and Protestants, which resulted in many historic meetings and agreements.

Montini served in the Vatican's Secretariat of State from 1922 to 1954. While in the Secretariat of State, Montini and Domenico Tardini were considered as the closest and most influential co-workers of Pope Pius XII, who in 1954, named him Archbishop of Milan, the largest Italian diocese, while not naming Montini a cardinal, a designation that traditionally accompanies the position; Montini automatically became Secretary of the Italian Bishops Conference. John XXIII elevated him to the College of Cardinals in 1958, and after the death of John XXIII, Montini was considered one of his most likely successors.Hebblethwaite, 322–323

Montini took the name Paul to indicate a renewed worldwide mission to spread the message of Christ. He re-convoked the Second Vatican Council, which was automatically closed with the death of John XXIII, and gave it priority and direction. After the Council concluded its work, Paul VI took charge of the interpretation and implementation of its mandates, often walking a thin line between the conflicting expectations of various groups within Catholicism. The magnitude and depth of the reforms affecting all areas of Church life during his pontificate exceeded similar reform policies of his predecessors and successors.

Paul VI was a Marian devotee, speaking repeatedly to Marian congresses and mariological meetings, visiting Marian shrines and issuing three Marian encyclicals. Following his famous predecessor Ambrose of Milan, he named Mary as the Mother of the Church during the Vatican Council.

Paul VI sought dialogue with the world, with other Christians, other religions, and atheists, excluding nobody. He saw himself as a humble servant for a suffering humanity and demanded significant changes of the rich in North America and Europe in favour of the poor in the Third World.http://storico.radiovaticana.org/en1/storico/2009-11/332896_it_s_not_easy_being_a_christian_says_pope.html "'It's not Easy Being a Christian', says Pope", in Vatican Radio (08/11/2009 19 May 2014) His positions on birth control (see Humanae Vitae) and other issues were sometimes controversial, especially in Western Europe and North America.

His pontificate took place during some significant changes in the world e.g. student revolts, the Vietnam War, the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, the continued break up of the British Empire, the push for civil rights in the southern states of the U.S. and the advent of the contraceptive pill. Paul VI died on 6 August 1978, the Feast of the Transfiguration. The diocesan process for beatification of Paul VI began on 11 May 1993, and so he was given the title "Servant of God".

On 20 December 2012, Pope Benedict XVI, in an audience with the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, declared that the late Pope had lived a life of heroic virtue, which means he can be called "Venerable".

Early life

Giovanni Battista Montini was born in the village of Concesio, in the province of Brescia, Lombardy. His father Giorgio Montini was a lawyer, journalist, director of the Catholic Action and member of the Italian Parliament. His mother was Giudetta Alghisi, from a family of rural nobility. He had two brothers, Francesco Montini, who became a physician, and Lodovico Montini, who became a lawyer and politician.Andrea Lazzarini, Paolo VI, Casa Editrice Herder, Roma, p. 20-21 On 30 September 1897, he was baptized in the name of Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini.Lazzarini, p. 19 He attended Cesare Arici, a school run by the Jesuits, and in 1916, he received a diploma from Arnaldo da Brescia, a public school. His education was often interrupted by bouts of illness. In 1916, he entered the seminary to become a Roman Catholic priest. He was ordained priest on 29 May 1920 and celebrated his first Holy Mass in Concesio in the Church Madonna delle Grazie which was near his parental house.Lazzarini 26 Montini concluded his studies in Milan with a doctorate in Canon Law in the same year.Franzen 419 Afterwards he studied at the Gregorian University, the University of Rome La Sapienza and, at the request of Giuseppe Pizzardo at the Accademia dei Nobili Ecclesiastici. At the age of twenty-five, again at the request of Giuseppe Pizzardo, Montini entered the Secretariat of State in 1922, where he worked under Pizzardo together with Francesco Borgongini-Duca, Alfredo Ottaviani Carlo Grano, Domenico Tardini and Francis Spellman.Lazzarini 31

Living octopus

Living octopus

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