Thursday, March 14, 2013

Habemus Papam - Pope Francis

The Lord bless him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not into the hands of his enemies!

God bless Pope Francis – formerly Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, S.J., Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

I was awoken to the news breaking via radio, and raced to turn on the television, hear the Habemus Papam, and then watched him come forth, listened to him speak, and received his Apostolic Blessing. I was moved by his evident piety, in asking for prayers for Benedict XVI, leading the crowd in a Pater, Ave and Gloria, and then asking all to pray for him – which the vast host did, falling silent in prayer – before he gave all the world his blessing.

He certainly looks a Pope, humble and kindly.

At Mass at Carmel this morning, my parish priest offered the Sacrifice for our new Pope, and reminded us that Our Lord doubtless says to His Vicar what He once said to St Francis of Assisi: "Rebuild My House, which is falling into ruin".

His radical choice of name speaks of the voluntary poverty and humility and evangelizing zeal and love of Christ and His Church that was the mark of St Francis; and it refers also to the great Jesuit missionary St Francis Xavier.

His episcopal (and now papal) motto, miserando atque eligendo, "lowly and yet chosen", has certainly come true! It apparently derives from St Bede the Venerable's Homily 21 for the feast of St Matthew the Evangelist:
Vidit ergo Jesus publicanum, et quia miserando atque eligendo vidit, ait illi, Sequere me. Sequere autem dixit imitare. Sequere dixit non tam incessu pedum, quam executione morum.

(For Jesus saw the tax collector, and because he saw one who needed mercy and to be chosen, he said to him “Follow me”. And he said “follow” meaning “to imitate”. He said “Follow” not so much with the movement of the feet, as by the practice of life.)
God grant that this son of St Ignatius in all things work for the greater glory of God: for what we need now is holiness, the only cure for the ills of the Church and the world.

His Holiness has asked our prayers – pray therefore:
Almighty and everlasting God, have mercy on your servant Pope Francis, our Supreme Pontiff, and direct him, according to your loving kindness, in the way of eternal salvation, that with your help he may ever desire that which is pleasing to you and accomplish it with all his strength. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lord Jesus, shelter our Holy Father the Pope under the protection of Your Sacred Heart. Be his light, his strength and his consolation.

1 comment:

Kate Edwards said...

Thanks for a good welcoming post for the election, as you've noted over at my blog, the bile pouring forth in certain places shows just where some really sit in relation to the Church.

That said, I'm pretty sure that the (real) Jesuits would see radical poverty as entirely proper to their order rather than inherently Franciscan, the deformations of their order that prevail in Australia and many other places notwithstanding! And the former Cardinal Bergognio seems to be a 'traditionalist' as far as the practice of Jesuit spirituality goes, acceptance of the papacy notwithstanding!

But I agree that the 'rebuild my Church' element of the other Francis' mission would have been a happy dual basis for his choice of name, along with a homage to the great Jesuit missionary St Francis Xavier.