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Just last weekend, I determined that I had neglected this blog long enough.  I planned to post something new each week on Wednesday.  Well, here we are, and I’m keeping my promise, but I’m not blogging about homeschooling today.

Today, I am full of joy over the election of our new pope, Pope Francis I, formerly, Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio.  I had the privilege of sharing the excitement of the crowds at Saint Peter’s Square via the internet and listening to the first address of our new pope, Pope Francis, along with my children who got to see it live because they’re homeschooled (okay–I did talk about homeschooling).

I never heard of him before today.  Here is what I have learned today and why, as always, I am so confident that the Holy Spirit is guiding the Church:

  1. He is from Argentina, the son of an Italian immigrant father who was a railroad worker, and one of 5 children–humble beginnings, but speaks Italian very well.
  2. He has taught literature, psychology, and philosophy–a Renaissance man.
  3. He is a Jesuit who sought to moderate the Marxist leanings of his fellow Jesuits.
  4. As bishop of Buenos Aires, he has forgone the bishop’s residence in favor of a small apartment and the limo and chauffeur in favor of using public transportation–like the saint whose name he took as pope, he is in love with Lady Poverty.
  5. He has in fact preached the value of simplicity and love for the poor with his life.
  6. He has spoken publicly to defend life and marriage.
  7. He began his papacy with prayer for his wonderful predecessor and with great humility asked everyone present to pray for him in silence.  He bowed while the whole crowd was really silent (and hopefully praying).
  8. There is a peacefulness and gentleness about him that showed even in his first appearance as our new holy father.
  9. He is from a third-world country, cares for the poor, and lives a life of simplicity, all of which will make him a little harder for the secular media to ignore, both because they can’t accuse him of being part of the “good-old-boy club” (not that I think that would be a serious accusation in any case) and because they can’t accuse him of ignoring the needs of the poor when he speaks of the horror of abortion, euthanasia, and the many sins that have become accepted as normal in our society.
  10. He has spoken with fervor God’s mercy and love.  He lambasted priests in his diocese for refusing to baptize children born out of wedlock.  He went to an AIDS hospice and kissed and washed the feet of those suffering there.
  11. He is known to be a man of prayer.  First and foremost, we need a man of prayer to lead us ever closer to Christ in these turbulent times.
  12. The more I read, the more he reminds me of the saintly bishop in Victor Hugo’s novel, Les Miserables.  A pope like him could bring many back to the Church.
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