Pope Paul VI: A Pope of Many Firsts

On Sunday, October 19th, Pope Paul VI was beatified.

To give a little background Giovanni Battista Montini, cardinal of Milan, was elected as pope following Pope John XXIII.  He took the name Paul, indicating that his papacy would be missionary.

He was the first pope to travel outside of Italy, making 9 trips in total. One of which he survived an assassination attempt.

Pope Paul VI was the first pope to stop wearing a papal tiara “to show that the authority of the pope is not tied to temporal power,” and when he sold the tiara to raise funds, “he gave these to the poor, a sign of his commitment to social justice.”

Vatican II, the 1962-65 world-wide church meetings, opened the way for Mass to be said in local languages instead of in Latin. Paul also inaugurated the synod system of consultation of the early church that Vatican II called for.

In 1968, Pope Paul VI wrote the encyclical “Humanane Vitae” discussing the Churches teachings regarding married love, responsible parenthood, and the continued opposition to artificial birth control.

This week we celebrate the beatification of Pope Paul VI.  His beatification occurred after the certification in May of a miracle attributed to Paul’s intercession: the healing in 2001 of an unborn child whom doctors expected to be born with a number of birth defects. The boy, now 13, is a healthy American teenager.




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