To non-Catholics, the importance of the Pope can be ambiguous. The formal definition of the Pope is “the bishop of Rome as head of the Roman Catholic Church.” As a critical successor of St.Peter, the Pope guides the Catholic Church from the Vatican City. Most recently, after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on February 28th, 2013, the Papal Conclave 2013 gathered to elect Archbishop of Buenos Aires as the new Pope.
The Archbishop took the name of Francis and started his reign on March 12th, 2013. The name Francis inherited its holy meaning from St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis of Assisi was born under a silk merchant and a noblewoman in France. He enjoyed a prosper life during his youth with wealthy friends and entertaining leisure activities. However, his benevolence remained even when he was helping his father at the market sell clothes. One instance is when suddenly a beggar appeared and asked for alm. At the end of the deal, St. Francis of Assisi provided an act of charity and gave the beggar everything he had. Unfortunately, St.Francis of Assisi was scolded by his parents and friends for his kindness. Later in his life, he joined the military and was held captive for a year. During his captivation, he saw visions of biblical scenes and the conversion gradually took a bigger impact in his life. Later, he wanted to spread the Gospel to more people. Although some of his expeditions such as the one to Morocco failed, he succeeded to land in Egypt and spread the word of God. Now, he is infamous as the patron saint of animals and the poor.
Ever since his inauguration, the new Pope has been truly controversial. According to Cnn.com, “He urged priests around the world to be more accepting of gays and lesbians, divorced Catholics and other people living in what the church considers "irregular" situations.” Without changing the traditional doctrine of the Church, Pope Francis has opened the doors to more people in the community than his predecessors. Along with his acceptance, the Pope is famous for his adaptation to technology. The newly elected Pope Francis is on Twitter as @Pontifex. With 17.9M followers, the Pope’s account is filled with inspirational quotes. His famous quotes include but are not limited to,
“For those who are with Jesus, evil is just a provocation to love even more.”
“Seek the Lord in prayer: He is the one who has called you.”