Yesterday was an historic day for Catholics and all citizens of the world. The idea and concept of the Conclave of Cardinals is intriguing to many for several reasons. To name a few, there is a mystery in the secrecy, a respect for tradition, and an awe that the Holy Spirit is guiding the College of Cardinals to elect the next Pope. The Pope is a religious figure, but he is also a political figure, as has been seen across the ages, so this election is important regardless of faith or denomination.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina became the first non-European pope yesterday. He chose the name Pope Francis I after St. Francis of Assisi. When I heard his name choice, my eyes filled up with tears. My Granny, who was a devote Irish Catholic her entire life, had a special love for St. Francis; therefore, he has always held a special place in my heart. In the story of St. Francis, he asks the Lord what he should do and the Lord responds with something along the lines of Rebuild my Church, for it is crumbling. In this time of struggle for the Church and all of those involved, I believe that Pope Francis is truly inspired by the Holy Spirit and is prepared to do great things for the Church and all those in need. Everything from his sweet voice to his name choice to his humble address makes me confident in his ability to lead this beautiful church and make the world a better place.
[May] The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
[May] The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee.
[May] The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
I found this "Prayer for the Pope" that I was not familiar with, like very much:
Father, we pray for your protection and guidance over our Holy Father, Pope Francis I. Give him strength and wisdom to stand as a prophet for our times. May he be a light in darkness around which we gather in hope. We ask you to bring about reconciliation through his faithful teaching of peace and justice. Grant him compassion and care to live the gospel in love and service to all people. Let him follow in the path of Peter and Paul who, filled with the Holy Spirit, preached that the Lord saves all who call upon his name.