FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF POPE FRANCIS' PONTIFICATE
Vatican City, 12 March 2014 (VIS) – 13 March, will be the first
anniversary of the election of Pope Francis to the See of St. Peter. These 365
days of his papacy have been characterised as a “time of mercy”, as described
by the Pope himself. During these twelve months of intense activity, the Pope
“from the end of the earth” who asks us to pray for him, has started out on a
new way of working that, with a slow but sure pace, has drawn renewed attention
to issues not only of an ecclesiastical nature. The “priest of the world”, as
his special secretary Msgr. Alfred Xuereb calls him, “has not wasted a minute!
He works tirelessly and, when he feels the need to take a moment's pause, he
closes his eyes and does nothing: he simply sits and prays the Rosary”.
To commemorate this first anniversary, the director of the Holy See Press
Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., gave an interview with Vatican Radio in
which he reflects on this year and its “great impulse to a journeying Church”.
“The most important aspect of this first year is without doubt the great
attention, the great attraction of the people – I say the people, meaning not
only practising Catholics, but everyone in this world – the great attention for
this Pope, for his message. It is something that I think and hope is very
deeply rooted in the heart of the people, who have felt touched by a word of
love, attention, mercy, closeness, proximity, in which through the man, the
Pope, the love of God arrives”.
“The Church truly seems to be a journeying people. This is her most
characteristic aspect: a sense of great dynamism. The Pope has given a great
impulse and journeys with a Church that seeks God's will, that seeks her
mission in today's world for the good of all, truly going out to the
peripheries, to the ends of the world”, he continues, adding that there are
“manifestations of attention, therefore, that come from places, from atypical
organs of the press”, that “mean that his message reaches its target”.
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