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'


ę 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Europe

Spiritual Ecumenism: Pope Francis Visits Evangelical/Pentecostal Church in Caserta Italy Watch

Image of Pope Francis took a trip to Caserta, Italy on Monday, June 28, 2014. He visited with a friend named Giovanni Traettino who pastors an evangelical, charismatic/Pentecostal protestant Church.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Pope Francis took a trip to Caserta, Italy on Monday, June 28, 2014. He visited with a friend named Giovanni Traettino who pastors an evangelical, charismatic/Pentecostal protestant Church. This friend of Francis oversees the growing evangelical Church of the ... continue reading


France grants asylum to Iraqi Christians as U.S. rebuked for 'silence' Watch

Image of Representative Frank Wolf (R-Va.) said on the House floor,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the genocide of Iraqi Christians continues, the French government now says it is willing to grant asylum to Iraqi Christians. "We are assisting displaced persons who are fleeing the Islamic State's threats and seeking refuge in Kurdistan," Foreign Minister ... continue reading


He Went to Find Brothers: Message of Pope Francis to Evangelical/Pentecostal Brother John and the Church at Caserta Watch

Image of The welcome given to the Pope by the members of this evangelical/pentecostal protestant community of Christians was beautiful, respectful and loving. The way in which the entire encounter proceeded is a sign of where we are being challenged to live our own Christian lives. The message of Pope Francis at Caserta is clear and convincing. He went to find brothers, and sisters. So should we!  Authentic ecumenical efforts are a part of being a Catholic Christian.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Pope addressed several hundred members of the Church of the Reconciliation who had gathered for this historic visit. He and his friend, a protestant pentecostal/evangelical pastor named John, stood together under an overhang which bore the words "Jesus is ... continue reading


Spanish priest packs them into church - by dancing the flamenco Watch

Image of Father Pepe danced in front of the late Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in 1997. He says w he will retire this coming September.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Jose Planas Moreno, known as "Father Pepe," has revived interest in his church in Malaga, Spain. The priest has brought parishioners flocking back to the Nuestra Se├▒ora Del Carmen church in Campanilla, a district of Malaga, with his unusual style of worship. ... continue reading


LUNCH SURPRISE: Pope Francis eats with Vatican employees in surprise visit Watch

Image of The Pope spent about an hour dining at a table with around 10 other people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A "lunch surprise" usually means an item that's not on the menu offered at a lower price. At the Vatican, employees got quite a "lunch surprise" on Friday when their "boss" and bishop, Pope Francis, turned up at their cafeteria. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop! - Pope Urges End to Wars in Ukraine, Iraq and Gaza

Image of Brothers and sisters: never war.My thoughts go especially to the children, from whom we take away the hope for a decent life: dead children, injured children, maimed children, orphaned children, children who have war relics for toys, children who do not know how to smile.- Pope Francis

By Asia News

He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak ... continue reading


Meriam Ibraham is Free! The Living God Has Heard the Cry of His People! Jesus Christ is Lord! Watch

Image of Meriam receives the blessing and the gratitude of the successor of Peter, Francis.- What should be front and center in every Christian news report on this remarkable story is that God intervened on behalf of Meriam and her family. The God whom we profess is real and His power is greater than any regime or any form of opposition. Yes, He used men and women, and even government leaders, to accomplish His deliverance. He often does. But it was His Love and Mercy which broke the shackles of evil. He deserves all the praise.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The photo of Pope Francis blessing Meriam Ibrahim and her little daughter Maya in the Casa Santa Marta on Thursday, July 24, 2014, reciving a blessing from a smiling Pope Francis, made millions of hearts leap for joy. The God of love answers the prayers of His ... continue reading


'A negative act necessarily must be condemned:' Vatican revising law on abuse penalties Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In regards to canonical law regarding acts of sexual misconduct, according to law ended up being too vague, Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta says, church sanctions were being applied so haphazardly that the church appeared to be divided. In response, the Vatican is ... continue reading


VILE: Somali girl smuggled into United Kingdom for organ harvesting Watch

Image of In perhaps the most horrific recent case, law enforcement learned that a Somali girl had been brought to England for the express purpose of harvesting her organs for transplant.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There has been a noticeable uptick of cases of human trafficking in the United Kingdom. In perhaps the most horrific recent case, law enforcement learned that a Somali girl had been brought to England for the express purpose of harvesting her organs for ... continue reading


HORRIFIC ABUSE: 18-year-old girl coerced into group sex while being recorded on cell phone Watch

Image of The incident is being called an example of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An 18-year-old girl performed explicit sex acts on 24 men on a dance floor with the promise of a holiday - which never arrived. Presented with a mixed drink for her acts of indecency, the sordid episode was recorded on a cell phone camera - for the world to ... 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, Jeremiah 18:1-6
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 146:1-2, 2-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, my soul!2 I ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:47-53
47 'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 31st, 2014 Image

St. Ignatius Loyola
July 31: St. Ignatius was born in the family castle in Guip˙zcoa, Spain, ... 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