Today in Rome Pope Francis was inaugurated as the 266th Pope at a Mass in Saint Peter’s Square before a crowd of 200,000.
Pope Francis was elected on March 13, at the age of 76, on the fifth ballot. He is the first pope to chose the name Francis.
The Archmere Connection…
Heading the American delegation to today’s ceremony is Vice President Joseph Biden, Archmere Class of 1961.
Also attending is Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual head of Orthodox Christians. Patriarch Bartholomew’s attendance marks the first time the Orthodox leader has attended the Papal Inauguration since the Catholic Church divided in 1054.
Who is Francis?
Pope Francis was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1936. He is one of five children. He graduated from a technical high school and earned a Master’s in Chemistry.
At the age of 21, he had part of his right lung removed due to pneumonia.
Pope Francis entered the diocesan seminary in 1955 before joining the Jesuits in 1958. He was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1969. He taught high school literature, philosophy, and theology.
After six years as Provincial of the Jesuits, Pope Francis became the Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992, and later Archbishop in 1997. He became a cardinal in 2001.
His motto as bishop and Pope is “lowly but chosen,” based on Matthew 9:9-13.
Pope Francis speaks Spanish, Latin, Italian, German, French, and English.
The promises of the Lord I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim Your faithfulness. (Psalm 89:2)
In his homily today, the Feast of Saint Joseph, Pope Francis cited Saint Joseph’s care of the Holy Family and Saint Francis’s care of the poor and creation. Pope Francis called people to protect the environment, children, elderly, and those in need.
On this special day, we join Pope Francis in saying the words of today’s Responsorial Psalm, “The promises of the Lord I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim Your faithfulness.”
– Father McLaughlin