Day One

14 March 2013

Pope Francis First Day As New Pontiff

In the cold light of morning, Fr. Z. has a wonderful reflection on the election of Pope Francis.

This morning, the new Pope apparently flummoxed his security detail by taking a single car to Santa Maria Maggiore, my favourite church in Rome, and praying and laying flowers at an altar of Our Lady.

While at the church, Pope Francis also prayed at the tomb of one of his predecessors, Saint Pius V, the lion of the Counter-Reformation. Fr. Dwight Longenecker has a reflection on that that’s very worth reading.

He also bestowed the Papal blessing on several of the ordinary folks visiting the church, including the unborn baby of a pregnant parishioner.

A very promising start to his pontificate, I think. Has the Holy Spirit sent us a humble Francis of Assisi? Or a missionary Francis Xavier? Or a gentle Francis de Sales?

Or some combination of all three?

Pope Francis lays flowers at the altar of the Virgin bearing the  icon of the Madonna "Salus Populi Romani", or Protectress of the Roman People.

Pope Francis lays flowers at the altar of the Virgin bearing the icon of the Madonna “Salus Populi Romani”
(Protectress of the Roman People).


Pope Francis at the Tomb of Pope Saint Pius V

Pope Francis prays at the Tomb of Pope Saint Pius V

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Pope Francis



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I Peter 5:8

Fratres : Sóbrii estóte, et vigiláte : quia adversárius vester diábolus tamquam leo rúgiens circuit, quærens quem dévoret : cui resístite fortes in fide.

Brethren, be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith.

Theirs was the religion of Saint John and of Saint Paul, the religion of the Gloria in Excelsis Deo, of the Athanasian Creed, and of the Te Deum Laudamus: Trinitarian, Christological, liturgical, and ecclesial.

Theirs was a religion spacious, broad, lofty, deep, and, at the same time, humbly rooted in the mystery of the Incarnation and in the homely economy of the sacraments.

(Dom Jean LeClercq, O.S.B.,
on the 12th Century Monastic reformers)

Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament …

There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves on earth…

(J.R.R. Tolkien)

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead.

Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.

(G.K. Chesterton)

The Gospel takes away our right forever to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor.

(Servant of God Dorothy Day, Obl.O.S.B.)

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