|His Holiness Pope John Paul I is dead. His death took place in the
Apostolic Palace about eleven o'clock on the evening of 28 September,
little more that a month after his election. He had been elected on the
evening of 26 August. The news of the Pope's unexpected death caused
widespread sorrow and shock.
The first person to become aware of Pope John Paul's death was his
private secretary, Father John Magee. The latter at once informed
Cardinal Jean Villot, Secretary of State and Camerlengo of the Holy
Roman Church. That was in the early hours of the morning of 29
September. The Cardinal Secretary of State went at once to the Pope's
room where he testified that the Pope was dead. Meanwhile the doctors in
attendance attributed death to a coronary thrombosis. They considered
that it took place about eleven o'clock on the previous evening (28
The Dean of the Sacred College, Cardinal Carlo Confalonieri, and the
Pope's Vicar for the city of Rome, Cardinal Ugo Poletti, were then
informed. About 9 a.m. the formal recognition that the Pope was dead was
made by the Cardinal Camerlengo in the presence of representatives of
the Papal Household.
The Dean of the Sacred College, Cardinal Confalonieri, indicated that
the first meeting of Cardinals would be held at 11 o'clock on Saturday
morning, 30 September.
Notice of the Pope's death was given as follows: "This morning,
29 September 1978, about 5.30, the private Secretary of the Pope,
contrary to custom not having found the Holy Father in the chapel of his
private apartment, looked for him in his room and found him dead in bed
with the light on, like one who was intent on reading. The physician, Dr
Renato Buzzonnetti, who hastened at once, verified the death as having
presumably taken place around eleven o'clock yesterday evening through
an acute coronary thrombosis."
Weekly Edition in English
5 October 1978, page 1
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