As Pope Benedict XVI resigned and the cardinals starting gathering in Rome to elect a new Pope, the entire world followed and watched with anticipation and excitement.
I grew up in the Catholic church and went to Catholic schools through high school, but I would have to say that it was our trip to Rome this past October that has really sparked for me an appreciation and understanding of this historical event.
TV's were turned on this afternoon as news was spreading that white smoke was coming from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel and a new Pope had been elected.
The newly elected Pope has chosen the name Francis which is a special name. The name symbolizes poverty and humility and also rebuilder of the church. The name Francis also happened to be my Grandpa's middle name and is also my Mom's middle name- so this gives the name a little more special meaning to our family. And it is a favorite prayer.
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;
and 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. Amen
This has also brought back memories from childhood, when Pope John Paul II visited my hometown of Des Moines, Iowa. It was October, 1979 and I was not quite 11 years old. I can't remember a lot of the details, but I do remember waking up very early and waiting on a big farm field for many hours. I remember everyone being very excited when the Pope finally arrived via helicopter and I remember him speaking to the crowd. I remember knowing what a special opportunity that this was and being very excited.
These are a couple of pictures that I took that day with my little Kodak camera. :)
A video that gives more of the story of that day.
"Farmer's everywhere provide bread for all humanity, but it is Christ alone who is the bread of life. He alone satisfies the deepest hunger of humanity. " Pope John Paul II