The first time that a Bishop of Belluno-Feltre, Maffeo Ducoli, after receiving several requests, spoke to the Congregation for Saints about opening the cause for the beatification of John Paul I, it was pointed out to him that, in addition to the already canonized Pius X, the causes of Pius IX, Pius XII, John XXIII and Paul VI were underway and, perhaps for the time being, these popes would suffice. He therefore set aside the idea, even though the Brazilian bishops in 1990 had already presented John Paul II with a petition, signed by the 226 members of the Conference, communicating the aspirations of their faithful regarding the opening of the cause.
The next bishop of Belluno-Feltre, Vincenzo Savio, continuing to receive many requests, resumed the initiative in the early 2000s, asking that the site of the diocesan inquiry be his diocese and not Rome, the place of Pope Luciani’s death, given the brevity of his stay in the eternal city. In 2003, the Congregation granted the nulla osta. In the lengthy work carried out in the diocesan and subsequent Roman phases of the process, as many as 188 witnesses of every ecclesial status were heard, including Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, a unique case so far, since a pope “in office” cannot testify, being the judge of the case.
In November 2017, Pope Francis authorized the decree recognizing Luciani’s “heroic virtues,” and in October 2021 a decree concerning the miraculous healing of a little girl in Buenos Aires suffering from acute encephalopathy. This opened the way for the beatification, which will be celebrated on September 4, 2022, in St. Peter’s.