At 11:56 p.m. on March 13, 2013, Reuters reported that the Vatican notified the world that a new Pope had been selected.
The crowds below the balcony at the Vatican cheered when they saw the white smoke coming from the chimney which indicated that a new pope had been selected.
No longer will Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio be known by his former name and titles; but will now be known as Pope Francis in honor of St. Francis of Assisi who was a Priest in the 12th century that rejected wealth and chose to live a life of poverty.
The new Pope is from Argentina in South America – the first Pope not of European background. There are several firsts for him: First time for him to become Pope, first to take the name of St. Francis, and first Pope to be from a non-European country. He was elected on the second day of the conclave. This return was much quicker than the people had expected.
His selection came as a surprise to many. No one seems to have predicted that the 76 year old would receive the honor. It was reported by Reuters that he hesitated somewhat before stepping out on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to greet the crowds that had gathered to honor him.
Reports say that he said, “I ask a favor of you – pray for me!” It seems that the cardinals who voted for him are seeing a new day for the Catholic Church in light of the many troubles it has faced in recent decades.
Those gathered there heard him say before he departed the balcony, “Good night and have a good rest!” He said that the Church would be setting forth a journey of fraternity, of love, and of trust!”
Read the entire report from Reuters at this link:
For the story in pictures.
Who was St. Francis of Assisi?
St. Francis of Assisi 1181/1182 – October 3, 1226 was an Italian Catholic Friar and preacher. Wikipedia gives the following account of the life of his life and times.. The life of St. Francis is fascinating as to what one man can do in a lifetime to serve God and humanity.
“Francis was the son of a wealthy foreign cloth merchant in Assisi, and he lived the high-spirited life typical of a wealthy young man, even fighting as a soldier for Assisi. While going off to war in 1204, Francis had a vision that directed him back to Assisi, where he lost his taste for his worldly life.
On a pilgrimage to Rome, he joined the poor in begging at St. Peter's Basilica. The experience moved him to live in poverty. Francis returned home, began preaching on the streets, and soon amassed a following.
His Order was authorized by Pope Innocent III in 1210. He then founded the Order of Poor Clares, which became an enclosed religious order for women, as well as the Order of Brothers and Sisters of Penance (commonly called the Third Order).
In 1219, he went to Egypt in an attempt to convert the Sultan to put an end to the conflict of the Crusades. By this point, the Franciscan Order had grown to such an extent that its primitive organizational structure was no longer sufficient. He returned to Italy to organize the Order. Once his community was authorized by the Pope, he withdrew increasingly from external affairs.
In 1223, Francis arranged for the first Christmas manger scene. In 1224, he received the stigmata, making him the first recorded person to bear the wounds of Christ's Passion. He died during the evening hours of October 3, 1226, while listening to a reading he had requested of Psalm 140.
On July 16, 1228, he was pronounced a saint by Pope Gregory IX. He is known as the patron saint of animals, the environment, and is one of the two patron saints of Italy (with Catherine of Siena).
It is customary for Catholic and Anglican churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of October 4. He is also known for his love of the Eucharist, his sorrow during the Stations of the Cross, and for the creation of the Christmas creche or Nativity Scene.”
Catholics and non-Catholics around the world are anxious to know more about the man who will wear the white robes and reside in the Vatican over the world’s largest organization.
For more information about the new Pope Francis (Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio) check out this site:
“Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, one of the five children of Italian immigrants Mario José Bergoglio, a railway worker, and his wife Regina María Sívori, a housewife. As a teenager, Bergoglio had a lung removed as a result of an infection.
He studied and received a master's degree in chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires before he decided to pursue an ecclesiastical career. According to another reference, he graduated from a technical school as a chemical technician and at the age of 21 decided to become a priest.” Read more about his life in Argentina at Wikipedia:
“Even though Cardinal Bergoglio has expressed seemingly traditionalist views regarding homosexuality, abortion, and euthanasia, within his own archdiocese of Argentina, he has not supported any return to the old Latin mass as had been encouraged by Benedict XVI, much to the dismay of many Roman Catholic traditionalists.”
He was quoted as saying about the young and elderly:
“In 2007, Bergoglio denounced what he characterized as a cultural tolerance of child abuse and "discarding of the elderly". He spoke strongly against the abuse of children as "demographic terrorism" and decried their exploitation. "Children are mistreated, and are not educated or fed. Many are made into prostitutes and exploited" and against a "culture of discarding" the elderly and treating them as if they are disposable and worthless due to their advanced age.”
However, he is not without controversy and scandal when accused of allowing the kidnapping and of torture of two priests by not endorsing them. After their release, it was stated that he worked behind the scenes to get these men released but not before it took five months of torture and abuse according to Wikipedia.
Read more under “Relations with the Argentine government.” There was a book written about this event.
Nations throughout the world are in chaos, confusion, disorder, and downright pandemonium. Most see the only hope is to turn to God.
While the Catholic faithful will gladly comply with the request of the new Pope (and will pray for him daily as he takes upon his shoulders the responsibility for their church); there will also be those who are not of the Catholic faith that will pray for him as a world religious leader.
They will pray that his influence as Pope will make a difference for people of all faiths throughout the entire world.
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