Religion: How Pope John Paul I Won

The Cardinals knew what they wanted: a warm and humble man

Seated at a table in front of the Sistine Chapel altar, the Cardinal solemnly intoned the name written on each ballot. "Luciani . . . Luciani . . . Luciani . . ." Beside him sat two other Cardinal scrutatores (vote counters) who carefully plucked the ballots from a silver chalice, unfolded them and passed them to their colleague. It was the fourth and final ballot of the astonishing one-day conclave that gave the Catholic world its 263rd Pope: Albino Cardinal Luciani, 65,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!