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First Anniversary of Pope Francis’ Pontificate

Vatican City, 13 March 2014: Thursday, 13 March marks the first anniversary of the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the See of St. Peter. He was the first ever Pope from Latin America, the first Jesuit Pope and the first Pope to take the name of Francis. Over the past year, Pope Francis has won admirers from far and wide thanks to his warmth and direct and simple language, and his obvious empathy with the poor and marginalized. He was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2013.

These 365 days of his papacy have been characterised as a “time of mercy”, as described by the Pope himself. During these twelve months of intense activity, the Pope “from the end of the earth” who asks us to pray for him, has started out on a new way of working that, with a slow but sure pace, has drawn renewed attention to issues not only of an ecclesiastical nature. The “priest of the world”, as his special secretary Msgr. Alfred Xuereb calls him, “has not wasted a minute! He works tirelessly and, when he feels the need to take a moment's pause, he closes his eyes and does nothing: he simply sits and prays the Rosary”.

To commemorate this first anniversary, the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., gave an interview with Vatican Radio in which he reflects on this year and its “great impulse to a journeying Church”.

“The most important aspect of this first year is without doubt the great attention, the great attraction of the people – I say the people, meaning not only practising Catholics, but everyone in this world – the great attention for this Pope, for his message. It is something that I think and hope is very deeply rooted in the heart of the people, who have felt touched by a word of love, attention, mercy, closeness, proximity, in which through the man, the Pope, the love of God arrives”.

“The Church truly seems to be a journeying people. This is her most characteristic aspect: a sense of great dynamism. The Pope has given a great impulse and journeys with a Church that seeks God's will, that seeks her mission in today's world for the good of all, truly going out to the peripheries, to the ends of the world”, he continues, adding that there are “manifestations of attention, therefore, that come from places, from atypical organs of the press”, that “mean that his message reaches its target”.
Source: VIS

Joseph Paimpallikunnal


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