Pope John Paul I (Latin: Ioannes Paulus I; Italian: Giovanni Paolo I; born Albino Luciani) served as Pope of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City from 26 August 1978 to his sudden death 33 days later. He was the first pope to have been born in the twentieth century. His reign is among the shortest in papal history, resulting in the most recent Year of Three Popes, the first to occur since 1605. John Paul I remains the most recent Italian-born pope, the last in a succession of such popes that started with Clement VII in 1523.
He was declared a Servant of God by his successor, John Paul II, on 23 November 2003, the first step on the road to sainthood. Pope Francis confirmed his heroic virtue on 8 November 2017 and named him as Venerable.
Before the papal conclave that elected him, he expressed his desire not to be elected, telling those close to him that he would decline the papacy if elected, but, upon the cardinals electing him, he felt an obligation to say "yes". He was the first pontiff to have a double name, choosing "John Paul" in honour of his two immediate predecessors, John XXIII and Paul VI. He explained that he was indebted to John XXIII and to Paul VI for naming him a bishop and then a cardinal respectively. Furthermore, he was the first pope to add the regnal number "I", designating himself "the First".
His two immediate successors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, later recalled the warm qualities of the late pontiff in several addresses. In Italy, he is remembered with the appellatives of "Il Papa del Sorriso" (The Smiling Pope) and "Il Sorriso di Dio" (The smile of God). Time magazine and other publications referred to him as The September Pope. He is also known in Italy as "Papa Luciani". In his town of birth, Canale d'Agordo, there is a museum that has been made and named in his honour that is dedicated to his life and his brief papacy.