Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Pope of Charity

Pope Francis: Whirlwind of Goodness

John Paul II Was the Pope of Hope, Benedict XVI the Pope of Faith and Francis the Pope of Charity

By Antonio Gaspari

ROME, March 20, 2013 ( - We do not know if the same happened when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. Perhaps his election to the papacy has spread further and made the world know the human and spiritual qualities of Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

It is a fact that every time he appears, whether to speak or to meet people, Pope Francis sparks infectious enthusiasm.

With his joyful and kind-hearted spirit, the Pontiff arouses joy and emotion among people. He is not only the Father everyone awaited but also a sensitive Pope close to each one.

Impressive is the tranquility and confidence with which Pope Francis moves among the people. He is joyful, happy, serene; he communicates confidence and often gives a "thumbs-up" as if to say all is well.

Tuesday while he moved among the people standing in the jeep, there was a disabled man who was shouting. He had the jeep stop, kissed the disabled man and patted him, who then began laughing. The people around him laughed and wept.

Also the little girl who was brought to him crying, was kissed and patted by him and she calmed down.

There is no need to exaggerate, but Pope Francis carries out gestures and actions that are very similar to those described in the Gospel, when Jesus moved among the people.

Archbishop Filippo Santoro of Taranto, Italy, said that when he got to know Cardinal Bergoglio at a meeting in Brazil in 2007, he was very impressed by his “hospitableness and transparency united to a very profound intelligence.”

And Argentine missionary Father Pedro Pablo Opeka, recounted to the Italian magazine Famiglia Cristiana all that his sisters, who live in Buenos Aires, told him.

When he was still in the Argentine capital, Cardinal Bergoglio was engaged in evangelization and social work in poor neighborhoods, in areas of ill-repute, among those who were most marginalized and on many occasions he washed the feet of inmates in prison on Maundy Thursday.

Looking at the reactions on the most frequented social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, one finds oneself before a true and proper “whirlwind” of goodness, which finds confirmation in people’s reaction.

A Sicilian woman said: “he is a wonderful Pope!”, and a young student added ”one sees immediately that he is good and gentle.”

A follower at the twitter@pontifex address wrote: “Welcome Pope Francis. I weep with emotion while I hear you speak. You will be our guide!” And another said: “they have chosen a man of immense spirituality and of very great care for the poor.”

A follower noted that Pope Francis “was not in the Cathedral on Maundy Thursday, but in the hospital of AIDS sufferers.”

Among the messages that arrived on ZENIT’s Facebook page, is one that says: “He is a spectacular Pope” and recalls that “the Lord is merciful with all his creatures.”

“He has sanctity, humility, spontaneity, honesty and reflects the love of God,” “one cannot judge in such a short time, but one can see that he is good,” “he awakens hope and charity,” “it is a return to the origins of the Church, compassion, humility and love.” “He is a Father, very close and attentive to his neighbor. A prophet of our time sent by the Holy Spirit.”

“John Paul II was the Pope of hope, Benedict XVI the Pope of faith and Francis is the Pope of charity,” "He is a Christian saint for humanity,” “Hope, gentleness and sincerity. We have yet to understand how good he is,” “his life as man, priest, bishop and cardinal shows him to be a coherent pastor in defense of the poor.” He is a “Pope able to generate beneficial changes inside and outside the Church,” and, finally, “He is the Pope we all hoped for.”

English-speaking readers of ZENIT wrote similarly: “A humble and simple Pope,” “Perfect for our times."

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