Thursday, March 14, 2013

God Bless Pope Francis

Thanks be to God, white smoke rose from the Vatican smokestack yesterday and the Catholic Church has a new shepherd.  The 265th descendant of St. Peter is the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, who is the first pope to take the name Francis.  He is also the first Jesuit pope, and the first pope ever to hail from South America.  Pope Francis's pontificate is marked by many firsts.  Although he is not the first ever non-European pope, it has been over 1,200 years since a non-European has occupied the chair of Peter.

I didn't know much about the former Cardinal Bergoglio before the conclave elected him as the successor to Pope Benedict XVI, but I've been reading about him since then and every new thing I learn only convinces me more that he is exactly the kind of shepherd our Church needs in these difficult times.  He is a man of humility and simplicity, he isn't afraid to stand firm on the teachings of the Catholic Church (even when they are not popular in this PC 21st-century world of ours), and he cares deeply about the plight of the world's poor and suffering.

My middle son's girlfriend, a lovely half-Latina young woman who was positively delighted by the news that this holy Latino man would be our next pope, texted my husband and me an article when we told her we didn't know that much about the former Cardinal Bergoglio or his history.  If you're interested, you can read that article (written before his election) right here.

Apparently, when he was a Cardinal our new pope (who lived so simply that he took public transportation in lieu of being chauffeured about in a private car) didn't just talk the talk when he spoke of helping the poor; he walked the walk.  For instance, he once visited a hospice center, where he kissed and washed the feet of 12 AIDS patients.  Kind of reminds you of the way Jesus treated the lepers, doesn't it?
God bless the first Pope Francis--a holy servant of God, sent by the Holy Spirit to lead us!


  1. He seems like a wonderful man!! Thanks for the link to the article, I'm going to read it now.

    1. Hi Kate! It's always so nice to see you've left a comment!

      He does seem wonderful--like a man who's filled with humility and compassion. God bless him.

  2. Hi Laura, I am so excited about Pope Francis! He does seem like a humble and compassionate man.
    I tagged/nominated you for Five Things and the Liebster. Please check out my newest post for the details. :)

    1. Thank you so much, Erica. I'm touched, I really am. I'm in the car right now, an hour into a 12-hour trip home from a visit with 3 of my sons. But when I get home, I'll get to work on my answers! :)