Pope Francis The Pope of the People October 08 2015
Pope Francis: The Pope of the People With his recent visit to the U.S.there has been much interest in Pope Francis by both Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Very outspoken and yet humble, embracing all peoples of every religion and walk of life, Pope Francis truly is 'The Pope of the People'.
Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on December 17, 1936 and is the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church. He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He worked briefly as a chemical technologist and nightclub bouncer before beginning seminary studies. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1969. He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was created a cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013, a papal conclave elected Bergoglio as his successor on March 13, 2013. He chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere and the first non-European pope since the Syrian Gregory III in 741.
Pope Francis has a special devotion to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots. Where Eve bound the human race in a knot with her disobedience to the Lord, the obedience of the Virgin Mary loosed the knot through her faith and obedience. This devotion made a huge impact on the devotional life of the Pope.
Pope Francis has been well known for his humility, his emphasis on the mercy of God, his concern for poverty, and his love and embracement of all peoples, forming a bridge of interfaith dialogue that has been absent in the past. Also, much different than the formality of his predecessors, is Pope Francis' humble approach to the papacy. Rather than the Apostolic Palace, he chooses to reside in the Vatican guesthouse. He uses ordinary transportation and wears simpler vestments without ornamentation. His piscatory ring is silver instead of gold and he keeps the same pectoral cross he had as cardinal. Pope Francis also has washed the feet of prisoners, both men and women, something that the previous Popes had not done. “Jesus never tires of loving,” Francis told the 300 inmates gathered in the chapel of Rome’s Rebibbia prison.
Pope Francis maintains the traditional views of the Church regarding abortion, euthanasia, contraception, homosexuality, ordination of women, and priestly celibacy. Francis opposes global warming, consumerism, and irresponsible development.In international diplomacy, he helped to restore full diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba. At his first media audience, the Friday after his election, the Pope said of Saint Francis of Assisi: "The man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man", and he added "How I would like a poor Church, and for the poor".
The jubilee year is the year called by the Church to receive blessing and pardon from God and the remission of sin. In his opening statements proclaiming the upcoming jubilee year of mercy, Pope Francis calls the Church and it’s faithful to be beacons of merciful love and forgiveness. 'Merciful like the Father' is the motto of this Holy Year which begins on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 2015. “This liturgical feast day recalls God’s action from the very beginning of the history of humankind. When faced with the gravity of sin, God responds with the fullness of mercy,” writes Francis in his document. The feast also marks the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council, an event that invited the Church into “a new phase of her history” and shed light on the “need to talk about God to men and women of their time in a more accessible way.”
In a manner of gracefulness, humbleness, and love, Pope Francis is bringing the focus of the church to a new and humanitarian level. He is teaching the world, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, to be merciful and caring of all people, regardless of religion, culture, or social standing. He is truly the Pope of the People.
Author : Dee Douglas
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