5o years ago today 80 cardinals of the Roman Church elected Giovanni Battista Montini, the cardinal archbishop of Milan, as the Roman Pontiff to succeed Pope John XXIII.

Pope Pius XII gave to Milan his personal gift in the person of Monitni. He succeeded the Benedictine Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster who is now a blessed of the Church in 1954.

Among the many things he did was to confront communism, sexual “freedoms”, published Humane Vitae, closed the Second Vatican Council, set the stage for a new work of evangelization and he worked for unity among Christians, notably with the Orthodox and the Anglicans. Moreover, he set to work to reform the Roman Curia and he renovated the Roman Liturgy. The latter still a contentious point among some people.

Paul’s cause for sainthood is being studied. Pope Benedict XVI certified that the Servant of God Pope Paul VI did indeed live a life of heroic virtue bestowing the title of Venerable.

Pope Paul VI died on the feast of the Transfiguration in 1978.