On March 13,2013, 76 year old Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the first Non-European as well as South American pope after the 5th vote in the recent papal conclave which ran for 2 days. This makes him the 266th pope and Pope Benedict XVI’s successor after Pope Benedict XVI’s historic resignation last month. (My 2/19/13 blog had already discussed this papal resignation)
He took the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi, a well-beloved saint known for humility, simplicity and helping the poor. He’s also known as the patron saint for animals which is why on St. Francis’ feast day, people would bring their beloved pets to church to have them blessed by their pastors.
Some say that since he’s a Jesuit and the first Jesuit pope at that,that he took the name Francis from St. Francis Xavier, a known Jesuit.
Considering the news streaming out that he had lived a life of simplicity and humility throughout his religious work in Argentina, the name Francis indeed appears fitting for him.
Whatever, it’s a new moment in the Roman Catholic Church . Considering that the greatest number of Roman Catholics comes from Latin America, electing a pope from that side of the world makes a lot of sense.
Pope Francis I was also known as a social advocate for the poor and wasn’t afraid to spar with the Argentinian government regarding gay marriage and contraceptive use,both issues that he’s against of but would respect people who adhere to them nevertheless.
In the days to come, we will see how he runs the Roman Catholic Church especially how his views on religious matters would affect his decision-making.
Habemus papam! (We have a pope!)
May God bless him!
Being a Catholic myself, it has been a proud day indeed!