Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

3/15/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

As with all Popes, the choice of the name is significant

Pope Francis did something which astounded me. He asked the faithful - before he gave them the Urbi et Orbi Apostolic blessing - to pray for him. He bowed before those assembled in the square during a moment of silence. That was profoundly moving and, I suggest, telling.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/15/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Pope Francis 1, Conclave, white Smoke, St Peters, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., Habemus Papem, His Holiness Francis I, Deacon Keith Fournier


VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - At 7:07 p.m. in Italy, the white smoke billowed from the Chimney to a world waiting the good news. At 7:18 p.m. the bells made it clear, lest there were any lingering doubts as to whether the smoke was really white. The bells were nearly drowned out by the joyous shouts of the massive crowd who knew God had heard the prayers of His people.

Exuberance filled the air in that historic square. Its timbre reassured millions who heard it over media points of entry around the entire world. The message was for all men and women, "Habemus Papem! We Have a Pope!" 

Numerous reports were quickly filed upon the arrival of the smoke. They offered more speculation. For example, the notion that the culmination of five ballots of votes from the Cardinal electors was due to the crisis the Church faces. Others expressed concern as to whether a new Pope could help to heal a troubled church. Whether sincere or not, they really missed the moment.

None of that concern was present in the faces of the young and the old gathered in St. Peter's Square. Rather, joy and hope moved them to tears and informed their beautiful smiles. They knew the mystery which only living faith can reveal. The promise of the Lord to Peter is reliable.

That promise also applies to his successor, "You are Peter and on this Rock I will build my Church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it." (Matt. 16:18) In fact, prior to coming forward, the new Pope had just participated in a service with the cardinals who elected him where that very promise from Matthews Gospel was read.

The Proto Deacon, French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran Cardinal Deacon stepped out on the central balcony of Saint Peter's Basilica and proclaimed "Habemus Papem". He told a waiting world of the election of the 265th Successor of Saint Peter, an Argentinian Cardinal named Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J. The surprise I felt was evident in the faces of the commentators! Their well prepared scripts had to be discarded. Another surprise of the Spirit!

Shortly afterward Pope Francis, clothed in papal white - without the winter red mozetta which often accompanies the papal vestments- emerged to greet the faithful. He was born on December 17, 1936, in Buenos Aries, Argentina, the son of an Italian immigrant father and an Argentinean mother. He has four brothers and sisters. He is the first Jesuit pope in history and the first to take the name of Francis.

He is known to be a humble man. In fact, among the many things heard in the immediate remarks from those who did know him was that he "rides the bus." That humility was obvious in his demeanor. I quickly discovered that he had taken as his motto for his service as a Bishop, "miserando atque eligendo"  which means, lowly, and yet chosen.

With self deprecating humor he told the crowd that it looked like his brothers the Cardinals "went to the end of the world" to find him. Then, he asked the faithful to join him in prayer for His Holiness Benedict XVI. He led the crowd, and the world which was watching, in the simple recitation of the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Glory Be.

Then, Pope Francis did something which astounded me. He asked the faithful - before he gave them the Urbi et Orbi Apostolic blessing - to pray for him. He bowed before those assembled in the square during a moment of silence. That was profoundly moving and, I suggest, telling.

As with all Popes, the choice of the name is significant. Though we await a full explanation as to why he chose Francis, my heart and mind leapt to an obvious conclusion. He took the name of the little poor man of Assissi, Francis. The one to whom the Lord had appeared and said "Go and Rebuild my Church which you can see is falling down in ruins." 

That humble deacon named Francis Bernadone did what the Lord asked him in the thirteenth century. As a result, both the Church and the world were changed. The Church of Francis of Assisi's time was not unlike the Church which Pope Francis will serve.  The world of Francis of Assisi's time was not unlike the world into which Pope Francis is called to bring the message of the Gospel in its fullness.

The Lord uses holy and humble men at critical times in Church history to bring authentic renewal.  May the Pope who bears the name of Francis exhibit the humility, deep prayer and level of spiritual gifts which his namesake offered at another critical time in the history of the Church and the world.

In the days ahead we will hear much more about Pope Francis. The media is already filled with people parsing his theological training and looking for "clues" as to how he will exercise his office. His association with the movement Communion and Liberation, his theological orthodoxy and his love for the poor have all been mentioned. They are encouraging to me.

There will be plenty of time for all of that. We will certainly join in. However, as for this moment, I ask our readers around the globe to pray for our Pope, Francis. Then, take his first direction which he gave after the Blessing when he grabbed the microphone spontaneously and spoke again to the crowd, "Have a good evening and rest well." The Church of Jesus Christ is in good hands.   
 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Europe

Pope canonizes first Arabic-speaking saints in church's history Watch

Image of Sister Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, born in Jerusalem in 1847, opened girls' schools, fought female illiteracy and co-founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Rosary.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was seen as a gesture of goodwill to Christians living in the Middle East. Pope Francis described Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as an "angel of peace" before canonizing two 19th century nuns. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sisters Mariam Bawardy and ... continue reading


Israel incensed as the Vatican recognizes the state of Palestine Watch

Image of Both the United States and Israel oppose recognition, arguing that it undermines U.S.-led efforts to negotiate an Israeli-Palestinian deal on the terms of Palestinian statehood.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The decision is an extremely unpopular one for Israel - the Vatican has recognized the State of Palestine in a new treaty. The treaty concerns the activities of the Catholic Church in Palestinian territory. It's a dramatic demonstration of the turnaround in the ... continue reading


Grandfather transforms three-bedroom home into stunning replica of Sistine Chapel Watch

Image of It took Robert Burns three times as long to complete his work as it took painter Michelangelo to complete his masterpiece in Rome.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It took 12 long years, but Robert Burns of Brighton, England has finally completed his dream project of turning his three-bedroom home into a replica of the Sistine Chapel. The 67-year-old former interior decorator was inspired by Renaissance painters and ... continue reading


Is the Holy See taking action against Medjugorje?

Image of

By Matt C. Abbott

Catholic Christians who are familiar with the alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, might be interested in the following developments. Although a definitive judgment has yet to be announced by the Church-a commission formed by the ... continue reading


Venus de Milo - a prostitute? New evidence offers intriguing new theories Watch

Image of A San Francisco-based designer has recreated the sculpture as a spinner, which was a pursuit popular with idle prostitutes in ancient Greece.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sometimes what is missing fills in an otherwise incomplete story. There is new evidence suggesting that the model for the famous Venus de Milo statue may have been a prostitute. A new 3-D reconstruction suggests that the statue was spinning yarn in the manner ... continue reading


The mystery behind 'the Devil's Bible': Europe's largest surviving manuscript Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Europe's largest surviving manuscript, the Codex Gigas, is commonly referred to as "the Devil's Bible' by many who are left baffled by the mysterious text. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The manuscript, held in the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm, is ... continue reading


Fatima prophecies 'lift veil' on anti-Christian persecution today, Vatican cardinal says Watch

Image of The Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, and confided in them three secrets. Carmelite Sister Lucia dos Santos, one of the visionaries, wrote them down years later.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The "secrets" of Our Lady of Fatima tell of today's Christian persecution, in addition to the martyrdom of the past century, Cardinal Angelo Amato of the Vatican has declared. The cardinal had "the privilege" of reading the original manuscripts of the secrets of ... continue reading


Malfunctioned fair ride leaves terrified passengers suspended at 200 feet Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thrill seekers were left hanging upside down on a fairground ride in Holland for almost an hour. The group consisting of seven riders, were riding the "Booster" ride at a spring fair in Didam, Netherlands. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) -The local newspaper, ... continue reading


Fears regarding Pope Francis' health resurface after he says he is 'a bit old and sick' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Telling parishioners he is "a bit old and a bit sick," new fears for the health of Pope Francis have resurfaced. The pope asked a group of elderly and disabled people to pray for him, warning that he was also suffering from heath problems. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Queen Elizabeth meets royal baby Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The royal newborn baby to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, was finally visited by the 89-year-old Queen. She went to Kensington Palace and was introduced to her fifth great-grandchild Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, born May 2, 2015. The baby's first ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 25:13-21
13 Some days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20
1 [Of David] Bless Yahweh, my soul, from the depths ... Read More

Gospel, John 21:15-19
15 When they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 22nd, 2015 Image

St. Rita
May 22: St. Rita was born at Spoleto, Italy in 1381. At an early age, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter