Pope Francis’ Gestures Strike Fire As He Kisses And Washes Prisoners Feets
Papa Francesco has had a little less than a month.
For Catholics, images conveyed in a genuine way can be symbols of deeper realities.
Pope Francis really believes in simplicity. So far, he has waved off any vestige of opulence (gold pectoral crosses and ermine lined mantles), walks rather than rides in a chauffeured limo, and for now at least refuses to live in the Apostolic Palace (a complex oxymoron, what apostle ever lived in a palace?). He chooses to live in a less pretentious guest house.
He invokes the patron saint of evangelical poverty, St. Francis, but this also comes from his Jesuit formation.
The vow of poverty and the commitment to the poor is taken seriously among the Sons of Loyola—at least the ones I know. Forming young people to be “men and women for others” is not an idle slogan for a lamppost banner. Jesuits really do it and do it well.