Pope Francis has family in Italy, will be challenged by new office
Despite preferring a humble life, he will have to adjust to a new standard.
Pope Francis may be from Argentina, but his roots are Italian. By returning to Rome, the new Holy Father also returns to his family roots. His elevation brings new challenges for the humble pontiff.
Pope Francis is quite comfortable in plain clothes, living a humble life. The change will be a challenge for him and all his staff.
Italians immigrated to Argentina in large numbers between 1857 and 1930 with more than 300,000 settling in Argentina.
Pope Francis, as a first-generation Argentinean, has plenty of family back in Italy. He isn't alone, as about 60 percent of all Argentineans share Italian ancestry. He also speaks fluent Italian and is sufficiently familiar with Italian culture as to be considered an insider, albeit one posted from overseas.
Pope Francis still has several cousins in the country who he has visited on previous occasions.
In Italy, several of Francis's family are hoping to visit the Vatican soon as well as deliver congratulatory gifts. It is likely they'll get a chance to see him, for although he is busy, he is also humble and a man of all the people, at least so it seems.
As Cardinal Bergoglio, he commonly spent time with the poor and common folk of Buenos Aries, ministering to them charitably, much as Saint Francis over seven centuries ago. Bergoglio was also known for using public transportation rather than a chauffeur to get around.
While some of his down-to-earth traditions will need to change, after all, he is the now the Pope and a leader of 1.2 billion people. He will now need to spend more time surrounded with security and monsignori, as he goes about his daily work.
Still, we can probably expect surprises from this earthly pope, who is just as comfortable on a public bus as he is at the head of his Church.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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