Today the Conclave made history by electing not only the first Jesuit pope, but the first pope from the Americas.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ was a top contender in the previous conclave that elected Benedict in 2005. He was seriously overlooked by the media and Catholics everywhere in the lead up to this conclave due primarily to his age. Many had thought that his window of opportunity had passed. Little did we know that it was just beginning..
Bergoglio, from Argentina, has taken the name of Pope Francis. A man marked by humility and a spirit of service, he is known for commuting by public transit, regularly spending time in the slums surrounding Buenos Aires, and opting for an austere apartment heated by a small stove instead of more luxurious accommodations.
I came across this recent quote of Bergoglio’s this afternoon which I absolutely love:
We have to avoid the spiritual sickness of a self-referential church. It’s true that when you get out into the street, as happens to every man and woman, there can be accidents. However, if the church remains closed in on itself, self-referential, it gets old. Between a church that suffers accidents in the street, and a church that’s sick because it’s self-referential, I have no doubts about preferring the former.
I cannot wait to see how this papacy unfolds and pour over his first encyclical! In his opening address, his Holiness asked the world to pray for him. He also stated that he will spend tomorrow in prayer with Mary, Patroness of both the Americas and the New Evangelization. Let’s join him.
Hail Mary, full of grace…