Albino Luciani was born on October 17th, 1912 in Forno de Canale. This small town is called today Canale d'Agordo, and is located 29 km. (18 miles) from Belluno in the province of Veneto, Italy, in which Venice is also to be found. He was ecucated in the minor (high school) and major (college) seminaries of the diocese of Belluno and ordained to the priesthood on July 7, 1935, later receiving a doctorate in sacred theology (S.T.D.) from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He returned to the diocese to serve as seminary vice-rector from 1937 to 1947, also teaching in the areas of dogmatic and moral theology, canon law and sacred art. From 1947 he served as vicar general of the diocese, until his ordination as bishop of Vittorio Venuto on December 27th 1958. Bishop Luicani participated in all the sessions of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), and on December 15th, 1969 was appointed Archbishop and Patriarch of Venice. Pope Paul VI made him a cardinal on March 5, 1973. On being elected to succeed Pope Paul as Supreme Pontiff on August 26, 1978, he took the names of his immediate predecessors, John XXIII and Paul VI, the first Pope in history to do so.
While Pope John Paul I delivered 19 addresses and was noted for his good humor, especially with children, no significant papal acts are attributed to his pontificate.