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Reflections on Pope Francis' First Year

When Pope Francis was elected to the Chair of St. Peter on March 13, 2013, many people speculated about the kind of pope he would be. The moment he began to speak as the leader of the Catholic Church and his message seemed to resonate with more compassion, mercy, forgiveness and love, the media was all over this man’s words like dew on the morning grass but eager to interpret his missives to suit their purpose. In the year since Jorge Mario Bergoglio became 266th pope many of his messages have been highly speculative, not only by the secular media but also from within the church. One thing is certain: Pope Francis has people talking. On December 11, Time Magazine declared Pope Francis as their 2013 Person of the Year for having the most influence on the world and in the news for that year. It would be safe to say that Pope Francis has gotten our attention and with that responsiveness in hand what does he really have to tell us on his first year anniversary?
Pray for me.
That is our Pope Francis. Pray for me. Pope Francis asks that we continue to keep him in our prayers daily. His words, both to ask for our prayers, and also to encourage us, have been noted throughout many sources, including a new e-book.
“In honor of the one year anniversary of Pope Francis’ election as Bishop of Rome, the Vatican website has published a special online book, compiled of various phrases he has spoken throughout the year” (Elise Harris, CNA, Vatican City).
In this easy to use online book entitled “Do We Want to Be Holy, Yes or No?” Pope Francis’ most indelible expressions have been offered to us free of charge as his gift to us on his first anniversary.
Some notable phrases include:
“…our God is not a God ‘spray’, he is tangible; he is not abstract but has a name: ‘God is love.’”
“Have the courage to swim against the tide. And also have the courage to be happy.”
“God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy.”
Reflecting on Pope Francis’ first year is incomplete without reflecting on his messages. To access the free online book:
Go to
Click on your language of choice.
Then click on "Best Wishes Holy Father"
Catholics, non-Catholics, and anyone looking for spiritual direction and inspiration will find a wealth of wisdom in this publication. There is a great deal to reflect upon!

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