Viva il Papa
And with those words, the world received the news of its new Pope Francis. Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen by the College of Cardinals to lead the Catholic Church. The 76 year-old Jesuit was the archbishop of Buenos Aires and that gives us a number of firsts. He is the first Jesuit ever to become pope, the first pope from the Americas (this hemisphere, Latin America, Argentina, etc) and the first pope to take the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi. What a wonderful start! What does this all mean? I would like to refer to a very respected Vatican observer, Rocco Palmo, who says this on his blog:
By choosing the name of the founder of his community's traditional rivals, the 266th Roman pontiff – the first from the American continent, home to more than half of the 1.2 billion-member church – has signaled three things: his desire to be a force of unity in a polarized fold, a heart for the poor, and his intent to "repair God's house, which has fallen into ruin"... that is, to rebuild the church.
O God, who in your providential design willed that your Church be built upon blessed Peter, whom you set over the other apostles, look with favor, we pray, on Francis, our Pope, and grant that he, whom you have made Peter’s successor, may be for your people a visible source and foundation of unity in faith and of communion.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.