“Habemus Papem!” This was my first conclave working at the seminary. In 2005 I was sitting alone in my apartment when the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI happened, lucky enough to be in-between classes so that I could watch the excitement. Unfortunately I was watching the excitement on TV in my quiet house.
It was different this time. We were eating lunch together with a phone on so that we could watch a bird sitting on a chimney. As the time passed nothing changed.
And then the white smoke. Excitement ensued. Who is it? The bells were ringing, and everybody was gathered, waiting to see who our next “Papa” would be. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis.
I would have liked to use this paragraph to mention the many books we have by and about him. I would have liked to write to come in and check them out. I would have liked to say that I knew more about him than his name and that he was from Argentina before he was elected.
Alas, this time it is not the case. A keyword search for Bergoglio brings up nothing. However, I can say with certainty, that that will quickly change. He has written books, although again, as of Wednesday none were available on a quick search on Amazon. On Friday several were available in Kindle format. The publishing world will make up for lost time. In the meantime, you can learn more about the history of Argentina and the church there, the Jesuits, and St. Francis of Assisi, the saint whose name Pope Francis selected. Pope Francis told thousands of journalists March 16 that he took to heart the words of his friend and chose to be called after St. Francis of Assisi, “the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation,” the same created world “with which we don’t have such a good relationship.”
While you’re reading about St. Francis of Assisi, why not learn more about the other St. Francises: St. Francis Xavier and given where I work, St. Francis de Sales should be mentioned as well.
Our lack of books by Pope Francis and about him will quickly change. When they are available, we will get them, hopefully in English and Spanish. And when that happens, both you and I can learn more about our new pope.
As always, if you have any ideas and comments for things I could change, please let me know. If you have any books that you have read or have read the books I mention, please leave a comment. We here at Salzmann also want to know what people are reading. Comments are always appreciated – anything I can do to make this better I will strive my best to accomplish.
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