Pope Francis I: Church Rebuilder

Number 266.  That’s the number of popes to guide the Church since Peter first took office as the Vicar of Christ on earth.  Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an Argentine with strong Italian roots is now known as Francis, the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church.  He is the first Argentine to hold this office, the first Jesuit, and the first to take the name Francis, whether in honour of St. Francis of Assisi or in honour of St. Francis Xavier, no one really knows.  But it would seem that like St. Francis of Assisi, his role is to “rebuild the church” that is falling down in many ways.


The new Pope will be installed in the Chair of Peter on Tuesday, March 19th, the feast of St. Joseph, a carpenter, a builder.  The ceremony will be watched by countless millions as Francis is installed as the head of the Vatican CityState, pastor of the universal Catholic Church, and he becomes the Bishop of Rome.


People are thrilled to have this man as Pope.  He has a heart for the poor, lives poor and for most of his life has lived with the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.  The world was moved as he greeted the people from the balcony with the simple words, “Brothers and Sisters, good evening”.  And then the incredible act of having everyone embrace total silence as he and they bent their heads in prayer to pray blessing on the new pope.


The world is blessed with a humble pilgrim to lead and guide the Church forward, a man with the heart for the people, for the poor and the needy, a man who has much work to do both within the Church  and outside as he proclaims the Gospel message of salvation.  The world needs such a man at this time and God has called him from Argentina to show the way.

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