After spending a good amount of time focusing on the gospels this semester, it was a nice break to sit down and watch some videos that didn’t necessarily focus completely on the gospels. Over the course of the last two weeks, we have watched three really intriguing videos. The first one was on Pope Francis, the second one was on the real Jesus, and finally we finished with “Pink Smoke Over the Vatican”. I really enjoyed watching all these videos and thought each of them were really good and interesting. The one video in particular that I enjoyed the most was the 60-minute special on Pope Francis. To be honest, I had no clue what the pope of todays name was. He is quite the character. He is very non-traditional unlike past popes, which is why I find him to be so interesting. He has such an important job, yet goes about things his own way.
First off the pope is very non traditional. Throughout history, all Popes signed their letter with the initials “pp.”. This was short for papa, and then they would initial the appropriate Roman numeral that they were respectively represented. Pope Francis on the other hand signed his letters for the Vatican print shop much differently. He simplified things, and started signing, “Francis”. Just Francis, no “Pope Francis”, or didn’t place a roman numeral just kept it simple saying Francis. I truly respect him for doing that. My main theme that I have stuck with through all my blog posts throughout the semester has been that I feel I am different from my classmates here at Gonzaga because I received to religious education growing up. So when I see something like this pop up in society I feel that it gives me freedom to go about things in my religion classes my own way. I can be more open to interpretation, and meanings.
To say the least Francis is a very simple man. On the night of his first big inaugural speech at the Vatican he came in in a simple white shirt and a silver cross. He went against wearing the big red cape that many other popes had worn before. I feel he wanted to come out and make a statement that he is truly a person for the people. The first words he spoke to the hundred of thousands of people looking up at him were, “Buenos Aires”. This means good evening. Now are you kidding me? That is all he said and he did it with a big smile. From what I have read no Pope has ever started their speech like that. It won the crowd over for sure as they erupted with excitement. The final thing he did that shocked many people that were in the Vatican square that night was when he asked everyone there to “pray over me”. Usually the people are asked to “pray for me”. It was so silent that some say you could of heard a pen drop in the square. Francis is truly a people’s person and his ways really make the people feel good.
For Francis that prayer that sent everyone into complete silence was the last silent night for this interesting man. Francis is a man of many firsts. He is the first pope to take the name Francis. No one has ever done that before so that was seen as a really big deal. He chose the name after Francis of Assisi. Assisi was a man who cherished serving the poor and was also a very simple man. Pope Francis is almost a perfect reflection of Assisi and his name fits his character very well. Francis has already won me over. What I mean by this is I had no clue this guy existed tell last week, and I can already tell he is the perfect leader as Pope.
Of all things he has done the most radical, and my favorite decision he has made was not living in his huge palace and living in a Vatican hotel. He has the opportunity of a lifetime to live in an amazing beautiful palace, but simply chooses a hotel instead. This guy is absolutely incredible. To me he reflects almost a modern day Jesus. As the leader of over one billion Catholics, are like the many followers of Jesus. Also Jesus was a pretty simple man other than the fact that he could perform miracles. Although he may not be able to perform miracles, I feel he performs miracles in his own way. Being a servant to the poor just as Jesus was, or posting on social media a “selfie” with a group of teenagers are great traits of a person who is meant to be a leader. As means of transportation from place to place, the pope insists on doing as others do. He would rather ride the bus, or in a car, then have to take a helicopter or anything fancy. The moment that made me laugh the most was when he went to the airport pick up his friend, in his Prius. He ran into almost 130 million Brazilian Catholics along his way. Instead of telling the driver to drive off, or get him away, he responded by rolling down his window and greeting as many people as he could, even kissing foreheads of babies. He has the mindset of doing whatever he wants. I feel this is why most people love him.
Pope Francis to say the least is one of the most interesting men in the world. He keeps everyone guessing, and is always doing something you more than likely wouldn’t expect. I feel that this attitude he has towards life, and his job, really helps people fall in love with him. Just from watching the 60 Minutes segment on him, I am in love with him. I see a connection between him and Jesus. Yes obviously he is not the Jesus Christ, but I feel he influences a lot of what Jesus would of done in today’s society as well as back when Jesus was alive. He is a simply caring man, and truly wants what is best for the people whom he is serving. Pope Francis is the true meaning of a great leader and I hope everyone realizes what a great job he is doing. It may be radical, it may be different, but change isn’t always necessarily a bad thing.