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Eversince Pope Francis’ historic conclave vote last 3/13/13 inside the Sistine Chapel, there was 1 incident that mystified a lot of viewers(including moi) during that momentous day—the day of the 5th conclave vote that finally produced a pope.

There was a seagull(not a cardinal, no pun intended) that constantly perched on top of the chimney which was hoisted on the Sistine Chapel’s roof so that black/white smoke would come out from it. That seagull appeared to be keeping watch while the  5th conclave voting and deliberations were going on inside the Sistine Chapel.It became known as the Sistine Seagull and instantly had a Twitter account as if one would think that it had the inside scoop inside the Sistine Chapel.We probably will never know what it heard as if it could even speak to us humans at all. Like the other cardinals, that seagull also took the vow of secrecy.

I just thought that perhaps the seagull is a signal from Mother Nature that whoever would become the new pope will be an advocate for animals. In my 3-14-13 blog about Pope Francis I, I mentioned that Cardinal Bergoglio took the papal name Pope Francis since St. Francis of Assisi was an advocate for the poor. I also mentioned in that blog that St. Francis is the patron saint for animals. Coincidence or fate?

If that Sistine Seagull was instead a white dove, I might start associating it with the Holy Spirit since in my catechism lessons, the Holy Spirit is symbolized as a white dove. As if I would be thinking that the Holy Spirit is providing literally inspiration to the cardinals by appearing as a dove on the chimney top.

Food for thought indeed!

Josie

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After my recent blog(3-14-13) on Pope Francis I, I noticed all the recent media coverage about Pope Francis’ easygoing manner in approaching people as if he’s at the same level as them. He appears independent-minded in deciding how he acts with people and on how he goes about performing his papal duties.. He comes across as your local friendly pastor. His Vatican security staff must be experiencing anxiety attacks and ulcers in trying to balance a fine line between protecting him from unsavory ,dangerous people and allowing him to socialize with the laity. He draws big crowds wherever he goes largely because of his magnetic yet humble persona.

In light of this, he has become known as the People’s Pope,essentially a people person.

His recent and formal  investiture as the pope as witnessed by the entire world holds hope that he’ll be able to draw back disillusioned Catholics and perhaps invite new Catholics.

Hopefully, he’ll be able to solve the problems of the Roman Catholic Church that he inherited. It definitely won’t be easy but something has to start somewhere at least.

He’ll need our prayers as well since he constantly tells us to do so.

Josie

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!

Josie