Francis: what is in a name?
Thomas Reese (a Jesuit priest and Vatican observer) begins his short article in the National Catholic Reporter this way, “In picking the name Francis, the new pope sent his first message to the world, but what is that message? Four possibilities come to mind, and perhaps they are all true.”
He then describes the possibilities:
- First, St Francis of Assisi was known for his life of poverty.
- Second, early in his career, St. Francis heard a message from God: “Rebuild my church.”
- Third, Francis was also famous for his love of animals and nature.
- Finally, Francis was known for his peaceful and positive attitude toward Islam.
He concludes, “Yes, there is a lot to learn from a name.”
Photo: REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi