The Two Francises
In the course of my life I have read both biographies for St Francis of Assissi and St Francis Xavier. I was compelled and moved by both and even named my son Xavier after reading about the latter. Both men deserve to be recognised as saints formally and whilst I believe that all believers are saints, because the scripture says so, that both of these men were certainly great role models and we can learn a lot from their lives.
So today Jorge Borgoglio was elected as Pope to replace Pope Benedict and chose for himself the name Francis I. I was delighted because I could instantly see that there was meaning behind this choice and no matter which Francis he was naming himself after there is sincerity and a genuine desire to serve Christ and change things for the glory of God.
In just the last few days I have been praying that the new Pope would be someone that Christ could use to extend the Kingdom and I pray that this is the case.
If the new Pope is wanting to be like Francis of Assissi, then he will focus on helping the poor, living more simply and using available resources for the Kingdom. St Francis of Assissi was also called by God to "rebuild the church." It was for him both a physical call (to rebuild the broken St Damiens church) and also a symbolic one referring to the whole Church in the world. I hope the Pope is able to find grace to love the poor, love the lost, rebuild the church and love all Christians regardless of whether Roman Catholic or not.
If the new Pope is wanting to be like Francis Xavier, then he will focus on education, excellence and missionary work. This would also be exciting because it would mean that the gospel would be shared, the kingdom would grow and things would move forward.
As a non Roman Catholic, but someone who loves Christ and admires Catholics - I pray that the best of both Francis' lives is evident in the new Pope. May God have His way with His people. Amen.