A newly elected pope has just presented himself to the throngs of Catholics in the streets of Vatican City on this most auspicious day March 13, 2013.
Argentinian-born Pope Francis I appeared in his humble white robes and skullcap on the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica to greet his subjects.
He was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires on December 17, 1936, making him 76 years of age at the time of his election. He was also apparently second in line when Ratzinger was elected Pope in 2005.
Bergoglio is the first pope to take the name “Francis,” though it is clear whether it is in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscan Order or St. Francis Xavier, the co-founder of the Society of Jesus, also known as the “Jesuits.” But he is the first Jesuit priest to become Pope.
More firsts as Pope Francis is the first pope originating from the Southern Hemisphere and the Americas and the first non-European pope in over 1,200 years! Prior to him, St. Gregory III came from Syria and was Pope from 731 to 741.
As for his values, Pope Francis seems quite conservative as he is stated as being against abortion, euthanasia, adoption by homosexuals and same-sex marriage, though he has supported that the Church teach on homosexuality.
As the 266th Pontiff, Pope Fracis will lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics and also has the following functions of Member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Member of the Congregation for the Clergy, Member of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and Member of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
For the “conspiracy set,” who were certain that the next pope would be “Petrus Romanus” or “Peter of Rome” (the last pope of the Roman Catholic Church) according to the thus-far-accurate predictions of the Irish priest Saint Malachy, there doesn’t seem to be a single reference to the name “Peter” or “Rome” in Bergoglio’s background! Though “Bergoglio” (pronounced Ber-GOAL-io) is definitely an Italian name.
However, St. Francis of Assisi was born “Francesco di Pietro di Bernardone.” So you could say that there is a “Peter” association with the new pope.
However, St. Francis of Assisi was born “Francesco di Pietro di Bernardone.” So you could say that there is a “Peter” association with the new pope now…
Then again, Pope Francis has reportedly spoken out that he took the name after St. Francis Xavier, who started the Jesuit order.
Franciscans everywhere are quite certain, however, that Pope Francis has taken the name “Francis” after the founder of their order, St. Francis of Assisi and are celebrating the fact quite warm-heartedly.
UPDATE: Pope Francis declares that he has named himself after St. Francis of Assisi as reported by BBC and posted to YouTube on March 16, 2013.