Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

3/15/2013 (1 year 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 (1 year 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'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Europe

Pope Francis Gives Direction to Charismatic Renewal and New Movements Watch

Image of Pope Francis at the last Pentecost Sunday Mass. Included in the massive crowd were members of the diverse ecclesial movements from around the world.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

On November 22, 2014, Pope Francis addressed a Congress sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Laity. It brought together new movements and communities in the Catholic Church - from across the globe. These movements are not only flourishing, but multiplying ... continue reading


If backed into a corner will Putin come out swinging? On the eve of Russia's great depression Europe braces for violent repercussions Watch

Image of Some analysts fear that Russia could default on its foreign debt, even worse, a depression may force Vladimir Putin to take an aggressive and expansionist stance in Europe.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The sharply declining price of a barrel of oil and the harsh sanctions imposed by the U.S. and Europe have created a perfect storm for Russia's weak economy. The ruble has fallen fast, and the financial crisis that faces Russia is quickly spiraling out of ... continue reading


Singing nun Sister Cristian Scucccia fulfills lifelong dream to meet Pope Francis Watch

Image of Sister Cristina is slated to perform at the Vatican's Christmas concert later this week, along with American punk singer Patti Smith.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Sister Cristina Scuccia, whose cover of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" has gathered more than four million views on YouTube, has fulfilled her longtime dream of meeting Pope Francis. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Meeting Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square, she ... continue reading


Sexual predator nabbed trying to lure teenage girls off social media sites Watch

Image of Prosecutor Mary McCarthy said Wood sent explicit pictures to girls and, in some cases, arranged to meet them. He had full sexual intercourse with five of the girls. Some of the offenses occurred while he was on bail.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Yeovil man, in Great Britain has been arrested on numerous sex charges. Twenty-year-old Jacob Wood is accused of grooming "vulnerable" teenage girls for sex through social media sites. Wood has been spared a prison sentence after a judge said it would not ... continue reading


'We may not live through these days': Is Mikhail Gorbachev warning that the crisis in Ukraine could turn into World War III? Watch

Image of Former leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, who has long been hailed as one of the leading architects in ending the Cold War is now warning that the world may be facing the potential of war if Russian and American leaders are unwilling to back down.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is no secret that relations between the United States-and its allies in Europe-and Russia have chilled to levels unseen since the end of the Cold War over the ongoing civil war in Ukraine. What is surprising is just who is issuing a warning about the potential ... continue reading


Plight of boat people worldwide addressed by United Nations Watch

Image of

By Katie Nguyen, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Governments must focus on saving lives rather than keeping foreigners out at a time when more people than ever are embarking on risky sea crossings in search of asylum or a better life, the United Nations said on Wednesday. GENEVA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - ... continue reading


Indian, Pakistani accept Nobel Peace Prizes Watch

Image of Both Malala Yousafzai, from Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi, from India accepted their Nobel Peace Prizes in Norway.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

India and Pakistan are longtime international rivals. This didn't prevent a Pakistani teenage advocate for women's education and an Indian child rights campaigner from receiving Nobel Peace Prizes. Both Malala Yousafzai, from Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi, ... continue reading


VATICAN AT RISK OF TOTAL DESTRUCTION as Islamic State smuggles dirty bomb into Europe Watch

Image of Vatican City may be a primary target for the Islamic State's dirty bomb.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A weapons maker for the Islamic State has posted a chilling warning to the world, claiming that a radioactive device, known as a "dirty bomb" has been successfully smuggled into Europe. This suggests that a radiological bombing could be imminent. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


'ISIS killers are monsters and cowards,' widow of slain British aid worker says Watch

Image of

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

The widow of a 44-year-old British aid worker David Haines, who was murdered by Islamic State extremists has denounced his killers "cowards." Dragana Haines, whose husband David was killed by the militants in a graphic video posted online last September, says she still ... continue reading


Has the Islamic State moved on to Russia? 16 dead in Islamist attack! Watch

Image of 16 people have died, and 21 more were injured during an attack in the capital of Chechnya by Islamic militants.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At least 16 people are dead in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, following an early morning attack on a police checkpoint, media building and school by rebel gunmen. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The attack occurred at 1:00 a.m. (local time) on December 4, and ... 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, Isaiah 7:10-14
10 Yahweh spoke to Ahaz again and said:11 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 20th, 2014 Image

St. Dominic of Silos
December 20: Benedictine abbot and defender of the faith. Born in Canas, ... 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