VATICAN CITY — Holding his weekly general audience today in the Vatican’s air-conditioned Paul VI audience hall, Pope Francis reminded people that today is the 36th anniversary of the death of the pope who commissioned the hall. Pope Paul VI died Aug. 6, 1978, at the papal summer villa in Castel Gandolfo. He was 80 years old.
“I remember him with affection and admiration, given how he lived a life totally dedicated to serving the church, which he loved wholeheartedly,” Pope Francis said today. “May his example as a faithful servant of Christ and the Gospel be an encouragement and stimulus for all of us.”
Pope Francis will highlight the holiness of Pope Paul, who led the church from 1963 to 1978, again Oct. 19 when he presides over his beatification. The ceremony will take place during the closing Mass for the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family.
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