Did anyone know who Cardinal Bergoglio was when he was announced? I certainly didn’t! But I’ve tracked down ten things you need to know about our new Pope Francis.
1. He does stuff like this. Stuff like washing the feet of twelve AIDS sufferers in Holy Week.
2. He is named for this dude, St Francis of Assisi, perhaps the greatest Catholic saint ever. St Francis preached the gospel and lived the gospel. He loved Jesus Christ crucified, loved the poor and loved all of creation. He renewed the Church in humility, holiness, and fervour. Quite a legacy!
3. He is from Argentina, the land of football, the tango, Tierra del Fuego and… yep, that’s all I got on Argentina. Off to Wikipedia for a research sesh! (But don’t cry Argentina, you’re still awesome. (Sorry, you knew it was coming, right!))
4. I predicted his election when I said the new Pope should be at least as awesome as the Jesuit priest Fr. James Martin. Francis is a Jesuit pope. Mission accomplished.
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) March 14, 2013
5. He copes with bad weather better than a Canadian, Cardinal Ouellet. Respect.
6. You can thank a certain, recently dead Venezuelan socialist dictator for his election. Seriously.
“We know that our commander ascended to the heights and is face-to-face with Christ. Something influenced the choice of a South American pope, someone new arrived at Christ’s side and said to him: ‘Well, it seems to us South America’s time has come.’
“He (Chavez) may also call a constitutional assembly in Heaven at any moment to change the (Catholic) church on earth so the people, the pure people of Christ, may govern the world,” Mr Maduro added of his mentor.
7. His papal name also recalls St Francis Xavier, the great evangelist and co-founder of the Jesuits. He is the patron saint of Australia and I’ve even met (shaken?) his right hand. #CatholicWin
8. He has a well-noted bizarre fondness for public transport. Even after being elected Pontifex Maximus, he took the bus back with the other cardinals to their Conclave accommodation.
9. He is a man of few words. (And not just because he has only one lung.) But when he speaks, whoa, he will totally scramble your left-right paradigm. He is strong on both social conservatism and social justice, as all good Catholics are. We cherish LIFE whenever it is to be found.
10. He is the 266th successor of a fisherman who followed a crucified criminal, and the spiritual Papa of 1.2 billion Catholics. We’re pretty stoked.