Pope Francis's Name (UPDATED!)

3/15/2013 0 Comments

Pope Francis praying at Our Lady “Salus Populi Romani"
(Protectress of the Roman People)
As all (I presume) of you have heard, our new pope has taken the papal name "Francis".  After doing some looking around I have found that the name was taken after St. Francis of Assisi (not St. Francis Xavier, or a different Francis), and his correct title is Francis, not Francis I.  Interestingly, if a pope were to take the name Francis at a later date, that pope would have the name Francis I.  There is more information, behind the scenes, and a description of Pope Francis's "first day on the job" at the link below.  Enjoy!

(Updated 3/16/13)

Today new information appeared on news.va (which, if you haven't noticed, is a great place to get information about the conclave, pope, Vatican, etc.) about how Pope Francis chose his name.  While talking about the mass media (and thanking them for providing coverage of the past few weeks), our Holy Father digressed from his prepared speech and related how he chose his name.  His words are (obviously) better than mine, so here is the quote (translated, I presume):

The Pope then departed from his prepared speech to recount why he chose the name “Francis”. Some people, he said, still don’t understand whether he named himself after Francis Xavier or Francis De Sales or St Francis of Assisi. He described how, during the conclave, he was seated beside the Archbishop Emeritus of Sao Paolo and Cardinal Claudio Hummes, a close friend of his. “When the matter became dangerous” – said Pope Francis – “he comforted me”. And when the votes were being counted and it was clear the Pope had been elected, the Cardinals began to applaud and Cardinal Hummes “embraced me and kissed me and said: ‘Don’t forget the poor’…and that struck me…the poor…Immediately I thought of St Francis of Assisi…Francis was a man of peace, a man of poverty, a man who loved and protected creation.” That, said Pope Francis, is how the name came to mind. “How I would love a Church that is poor and for the poor” – he added. The Pope then continued his account of the name choice by saying how some had suggested he take the name Pope Adrian, because of his association with reforming the Church. And in reference to the fact that he is a Jesuit, the Pope added how others said he should call himself Clement XV to get back at Clement XIV who suppressed the Society of Jesus in 1773…
There you have it; he chose the name "Francis" to show his love for the poor and to emulate a man of peace, poverty, and love of creation.  I also think it is cool to get a brief glimpse inside the conclave, of course the other cardinals couldn't have related this experience, since they took an oath of secrecy, but since the pope is the person who can release cardinals from that oath, he can. 

Pope Francis giving the Urbi et Orbi blessing on Wednesday