August 20, 2017

Pope Francis Reminds Us of Those Who Need Us Most

Pope FrancisBy Julie Samrick

This is the fifth election of a Pope in my lifetime.  I was a little girl when John Paul II became the Catholic Church’s leader, but too young to remember the process.  When I was a teen Pope John Paul II visited the United States- it made an impression on me and strengthened my faith when my family and I went to see him when he toured California. A favorite story I remember is when my sister had a broken leg at the time we went to hear the Pope speak, and so we were able to sit in the front, handicapped section. When he rode by in his “Popemobile” I was closer than I ever dreamed I could be and could’ve sworn at the time he looked at me.

 

Then, it was momentous to witness Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger become Pope Benedict XVI. He offered hope to the Church’s followers as we mourned our beloved Pope John Paul II. It was wonderful to really see the process of selecting a new Pope for the first time, and to share it with my children.

 

With the election of Pope Francis I, there are many things to talk with children about. Whether they are Catholic or not, it is a moment that will take its place in the history books. He is the first Latin American Pope, and even though St. Francis is one of the most beloved saints of all time Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina is the first to take the name Francis. 

 

In the 13th Century, St. Francis was a champion of the poor and a lover of animals. Pope Francis I is also known as a humble servant. He refused to live in the Cardinal’s palace and he rides the bus to work. He cooks for himself and is known as a “man of the people.”  What’s causing awe in the media is that Pope Francis bowed to the people from the balcony on St. Peter’s Square and asked for their blessing, which shows great humility.

 

Catholic or not, children the world over can learn from this Holy man’s humble example. As Pope Francis serves as the Church’s Vicar of Christ we can learn from him what it means to be of service to others, especially to those, like children, who need us most.

 

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