Sunday, October 14, 2018

Saint Paul VI and Venerable Matt Talbot

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In addition to six other Blesseds,  Pope Francis declared Pope Paul VI a saint today.

Born Giovanni Battista Montini in 1897 in the northern Italian province of Brescia, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1920 and was named archbishop of Milan in 1954. He was elected pope in 1963 and died at the papal summer villa in Castel Gandolfo on 6 August 1978. 

In her book, Remembering Matt Talbot, Mary Purcell wrote that during a visit to Ireland and staying at the presidential residence, Cardinal Montinni, the future Pope Paul VI, went to Glasnevin Cemetery to visit Matt Talbot’s grave. Not wanting to be recognized, he 
visited the cemetery by bike dressed as an ordinary priest, paid his respects to one whose life’s story he had read and in whose Cause he was deeply interested.

In a 1974 address in Rome to Calix Society members on the occasion of their twenty-fifth anniversary, Pope Paul VI” stated: “You have chosen to look upon Matt Talbot as an admirable exemplar of discipline and supernatural virtue. It is our hope that his success will encourage countless men and women throughout the world to realize the need for conversion, the possibility of real rehabilitation, the serenity of Christian reconciliation, and the peace and joy of helping others to overcome abuses, disorders and sin.” 

On 3 October 1975, Pope Paul VI proclaimed the treatise on the heroic virtues of Matt Talbot, giving the Dublin worker the title of "Venerable."