I just learned that we have a newly elected leader for the Catholic Church, who has chosen to be called Pope Francis. When I heard the newscaster on the video say his name, something within me sang and I felt happy.
Ever since I was a young child I was taught to have a respect for Saint Francis. He was someone who was humble, he loved God and he was kind to man and beast. Being a great animal lover, I find myself uttering little words to St. Francis thanking him for watching out for my pets, and those animals who most need food, shelter and love. There is such a kindness about his name that about fifteen years ago, I changed my confirmation name from Michelle (supposedly a female version for Michael), to Saint Michael-Francis. I share a great fondness for the Archangel Michael, as well. To choose the name Francis is to associate with the nature of the man behind the cloth, admitting to those around us that we care deeply for people and animals.
I look forward to and am pleased to learn more about Pope Francis. I send him my most sincere blessings because I feel he will be a true leader for our church.
Photograph: Associated Press/Andrew Medichini