Pope Francis

Pope Francis  &  St. Francis of Assisi

March 13, 2013

History was made today, all the way from Argentina.  White smoke and a prayer of silence welcomed in the new Pope Francis, who chose his name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, lover of the poor and patron saint of the animals.


Poverty.  Humility.  Simplicity.  All the essentials for rebuilding the Catholic Church in a modern day world where people hunger for transformation and change.  “A journey of brotherhood in love and of mutual trust” were the words spoken by our new Pope Francis today, as he gave his blessing to the whole world, and to all men and women of good will.


A man of prayer, a man of action, and a man who people listen to is how many describe the new Pope as he approached the people from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.  “Pray for me,” the new pontiff urged the crowd, dressed in the white robes of a pope for the first time.  And they did, in the beauty of complete silence.  The power of that prayer was felt by more than 100,000  people surrounding St. Peter’s Square.  And the energy of that power of silence moved through the hearts and minds of millions of people today as everyone embraced our new Pope Francis.


As he prays to the Madonna tomorrow, let us all pray for him today.  May Divine Guidance and Wisdom always be with him as the journey of love and trust begins.



Pope Francis, "Pray for me."

Pope Francis, “Pray for me.”



Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,

grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;

to be understood, as to understand;

to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.


The Pope’s Red Shoes

The Pope's Red Shoes - Pope Benedict XVI

The Pope’s Red Shoes – Pope Benedict XVI

The Pope’s Red Shoes   –   February 28, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI wore those red leather shoes one last time before stepping down from the papacy on his final day as Pope, February 28, 2013.  Along with the Swiss Guard protection and the fisherman’s ring, the pontiff’s red loafers -often misidentified as Prada, but, in fact, made by a Roman cobbler, Antonio Arellano – are gone.  So is his Twitter account and even the name “Benedict” as he officially abdicates today.

While each pontiff has his own style, red shoes are a papal tradition that goes back centuries.  Red boots were traditional footwear worn by early Roman kings, the color symbolizing the blood of the martyrs.

But today, the Pope Emeritus will no longer wear red shoes.  While the pope’s red leather loafers became something of a trademark during his time in office,  there is something to be said about the man who walked inside of those red shoes.  Who is the man behind the Pope?

Some say Joseph Ratzinger is a man of great humility, and a man of God.  His first encyclical, or letter to the church, eight months after becoming pope, was titled “God Is Love.”

“Everything has its origin in God’s love, everything is shaped by it, everything is directed towards it.  Love is God’s greatest gift to humanity, it is his promise and our hope,” he wrote in his third encyclical, “Charity in Truth,” in 2009.

A shy theologian who appeared to have little interest in the internal politics of the Vatican, Benedict has said that he is retiring “freely, and for the good of the church,” entrusting it to a successor who has more strength than he does.  He said he took the step fully aware of its seriousness and novelty, “with a profound serenity of mind.”

Many faithful have welcomed Benedict’s gesture as a sign of humility and humanity, a rational decision taken by a man who no longer feels up to the job.  Sometimes a human-sized Pope can provide a refreshing challenge to our expectations, as well as an important counter balance to the larger-than-life quality of the papacy itself.  No one is born a pope.  You have to learn to be a pope.

May Castel Gandolfo and the convent gardens of the Vatican overlooking the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica offer “Benedetto” rays of happiness and profound serenity of mind.

The pope’s red shoes are gone.  The fisherman’s ring has been removed.  Another cobbler is busy preparing for a new Pope without knowing the size of his sole.  Another fisherman’s ring is being created as the fiery furnace of love is shaped and formed by the origin’s of God’s Love.  Divinity is here and now, in all its many forms, even the Pope’s Red Shoes.