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 September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Europe

Flown to France, Iraqi Christians get new chance at life Watch

Image of Few of the refugees speak French. Most have never ridden in a plane, let alone traveled to a Western country.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fleeing the death machinations of the Islamic State, 150 Iraqi Christians, of all ages boarded a plane headed to France for a chance at a new life. The people there at the Airport in Iraqi Kurdistan, boarding a French government plane all agree on one point - ... continue reading


Islamic State threatening French interests Watch

Image of The last few weeks have witnessed allegiance to the new caliph Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi of a wide range of katibates, or small terrorist groups) mainly in the Sahel region and North Africa.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

With the nation of France joining the fray against the march of the Islamic State have come calls for retaliation. With fresh military strikes on Islamic militants in Iraq, expressions of rage and hatred against France and its interests have been felt ... continue reading


Pope Francis and St Augustine Speak to Bishops

Image of Francis encouraged these men, called to be shepherds of the flock of Christ, to be men of courage. He charged them to overcome the initial fears which can accompany the daunting task entrusted to them by the Lord and His Church.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

This week, Pope Francis met with all of the Bishops who received their appointments in the past year. They are all participating in a training session which is held at the Vatican every year. Francis, the Bishop of Rome, told his brothers they were  - the ... continue reading


Pope hailed as 'pontiff of the poor' by noted Greek atheist and leftist leader Watch

Image of Alexis Tsipras, Greece's opposition leader and a renowned atheist and leftist, met with Pope Francis as part of starting a dialogue between the Church and leftists in Europe.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Europe's left has a new ally in their fight for the poor, says Greece's opposition leader-the noted atheist and radical leftist Alexis Tsipras-after he concluded unofficial talks with Pope Francis on September 18. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Tsipras, the ... continue reading


New apostolic constitution to overhaul Vatican drawn up by Council of Cardinals Watch

Image of The nine cardinals will help advise the Pope on the reform of the Vatican's organization and church governance. Discussions are reportedly now more

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis' international Council of Cardinals have begun a first draft of a new apostolic constitution intended to reform Vatican bureaucracy. Appointed by Pope Francis, the so-called "C-9" of nine cardinal members held its sixth meeting this week. LOS ... continue reading


Until death 'til they part - and then some! Skeletons hold hands for centuries Watch

Image of The skeletons were placed together in this position, as there was enough room in the grave to have them buried apart, according to Vicki Score, ULAS project manager.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was a remarkable find - and a reminder on how love can last past the grave. Two skeletons, holding hands centuries after their passing, were discovered in an old, British churchyard. Fingers still entwined, the couple was found in a site that overlooks the ... continue reading


Who was the mysterious third tribe that formed gene pool with primitive Europeans? Watch

Image of Hunter-gatherers arrived in Europe thousands of years before the advent of agriculture. These hunters took shelter in the south during the Ice Age and then expanded during a period called the Mesolithic, after the ice sheets had retreated from central and northern Europe.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Researchers at Harvard medical School have definitely linked at least three tribes that combined to create Europeans of 7,000 years ago. Scientists say that blue-eyed hunters with olive skin mingled with brown-eyed, fair-completed farmers as these tillers swept ... continue reading


Shakespearean villain Richard III died from battle wounds Watch

Image of King Richard III suffered a total of 11 wounds around the time of his death. According to analysis, Richard suffered nine wounds to his skull and two to the rest of his body.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Classical Shakespearean villain and colorful historical figure King Richard III died from a particularly brutal blow to the skull he suffered in battle. A forensic analysis of his skeleton gave scientists' clues to his final moments. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Millions displaced from homes due to natural disasters Watch

Image of Last year, seasonal floods caused significant displacements in sub-Saharan Africa, notably in Niger, Chad, Sudan and South Sudan, countries also affected by conflict and drought.

By Laura Onita, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Almost 22 million people were forced to flee their homes due to natural disasters last year and the numbers uprooted could increase as urban populations grow, a refugee agency said on Wednesday. (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The majority were in Asia, where 19 million ... continue reading


Pope Francis invites Chinese President Xi Jinping to meet with him Watch

Image of It's not yet known how Chinese President Xi Jinping will respond to Pope Francis' request for a special meeting.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has reportedly invited the President of China, Xi Jinping to meet with him, either in the Vatican or Beijing. The pontiff wants to speak to the president in order to build a lasting global peace, which the Pope says is engaged in a "piecemeal" ... 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, Proverbs 21:1-6, 10-13
1 Like flowing water is a king's heart in Yahweh's ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:1, 27, 30, 34, 35, 44
1 How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 8:19-21
19 His mother and his brothers came looking for him, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 23rd, 2014 Image

St. Padre Pio
September 23: Francesco, named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, was born to ... 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