Patriarchs, Popes and Saints

The Palazzo Patriarcale in Venice, the seat of the city's bishop or Patriarch.
In matters of the church, Venice has always liked to be a little different so it should come as no surprise to learn that its bishop enjoys the title of patriarch, an honour shared by the bishops of only four other sees. 

By tradition, the patriarch of Venice is also created a cardinal at the first consistory following his appointment. Given the statistics of the last century, it would seem to put such cardinals into poll position when it comes to electing a new pope. Of the eight men who were elected to the papacy in the twentieth century, three were patriarchs of Venice, Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto (Pope Pius X, 1903-14), Angel Giuseppe Roncalli (Pope John XXIII, 1958-63) and Albino Luciani (Pope John Paul I, 26th August-28th September 1978).
Monument to Pope St. Pius X, Ponte della Liberta, Venice
Two of the three patriarchs (Sarto and Roncalli) were also later canonised. 

Lorenzo Giustinian (1381-1456) was the very first patriarch of Venice. He became bishop in 1433 and was made patriarch in 1451. He, too, was canonised in 1690. 


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