Pope Francis

Pope Francis is the 266th and current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, a title he holds ex officio as Bishop of Rome, and sovereign of Vatican City.

He chose Francis as his papal name in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere and the first pope from outside Europe since Syrian Gregory III, who died in 741.

About Pope Francis

At his first audience on 16 March 2013, Francis told journalists that he had chosen the name in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi, and had done so because he was especially concerned for the well-being of the poor.

He explained that, as it was becoming clear during the conclave voting that he would be elected the new bishop of Rome, the Brazilian Cardinal Cláudio Hummes had embraced him and whispered, "Don't forget the poor", which had made Bergoglio think of the saint. Bergoglio had previously expressed his admiration for St. Francis, explaining that "He brought to Christianity an idea of poverty against the luxury, pride, vanity of the civil and ecclesiastical powers of the time. He changed history."

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bergoglio was ordained a Catholic priest in 1969, and from 1973 to 1979 was Argentina's provincial superior of the Society of Jesus. He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, and was created a cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II. Following the historic resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013, a papal conclave elected Bergoglio as his successor on 13 March.

Throughout his public life, Pope Francis has been noted for his humility, emphasis on God's mercy, concern for the poor, and the environment and commitment to interfaith dialogue. He is credited with having a less formal approach to the papacy than his predecessors, for instance choosing to reside in the Domus Sanctae Marthae guesthouse rather than in the papal apartments of the Apostolic Palace used by his predecessors. In addition, due to both his Jesuit and Ignatian aesthetic, he is known for favouring simpler vestments void of ornamentation.

This is the first time that a pope has been named Francis. On the day of his election, the Vatican clarified that his official papal name was "Francis", not "Francis I", i.e. no regnal number is used for him. A Vatican spokesman said that the name would become Francis I if and when there is a Francis II.

Homilies

 

Holy Mass and Canonization of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta - 4 September 2016

"Mother Teresa loved to say, “Perhaps I don’t speak their language, but I can smile”. Let us carry her smile in our hearts and give it to those whom we meet along our journey, especially those who suffer. In this way, we will open up opportunities of joy and hope for our many brothers and sisters who are discouraged and who stand in need of understanding and tenderness".

Holy Mass for the Closing of the Jubilee of Mercy - 20 November 2016

"So many pilgrims have crossed the threshold of the Holy Doors, and far away from the clamour of the daily news they have tasted the great goodness of the Lord. We give thanks for this, as we recall how we have received mercy in order to be merciful, in order that we too may become instruments of mercy. Let us go forward on this road together".

Holy Mass on the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God - 1st January 2017

"To celebrate Mary as Mother of God and our mother at the beginning of the new year means recalling a certainty that will accompany our days: we are a people with a Mother; we are not orphans".

Palm Sunday, XXXII World Youth Day - 9 April 2017

"For thirty-two years now, the joyful aspect of this Sunday has been enriched by the enthusiasm of young people, thanks to the celebration of World Youth Day.  This year, it is being celebrated at the diocesan level, but here in Saint Peter’s Square it will be marked by the deeply moving and evocative moment when the WYD cross is passed from the young people of Kraków to those of Panama".

Full text and audio of Pope Francis' recent homilies is available on the Vatican Radio website online feed.

Speeches

 

Way of the Cross at the Colosseum presided over by the Holy Father - 14 April 2017

"The hope that your Cross may transform our hardened hearts into hearts of flesh that are able to dream, to forgive and to love; that it may transform this dark night of your Cross into the brilliant dawn of your Resurrection".

Prayer vigil in preparation of World Youth Day - 8 April 2017

"We are on the march, towards the Synod and towards Panama.  And this march has its risks, but when young people don’t take risks, they are already old.  We have to take risks".

To the Heads of State and Government of the European Union - 24 March 2017

"Those who govern are charged with discerning the paths of hope – you are charged with discerning the paths of hope – identifying specific ways forward to ensure that the significant steps taken thus far have not been wasted, but serve as the pledge of a long and fruitful journey".

To Participants in the International Forum on "Migration and Peace" - 21 February 2017

"Migration, in its various forms, is not a new phenomenon in humanity’s history. It has left its mark on every age, encouraging encounter between peoples and the birth of new civilizations. In its essence, to migrate is the expression of that inherent desire for the happiness proper to every human being, a happiness that is to be sought and pursued".

Full text and audio of Pope Francis' recent speeches is available on the Vatican Radio online feed.

Papal Documents

Amoris Laetitia – The Joy of Love

“The Joy of Love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church. As the Synod Fathers noted, for all the many signs of crisis in the institution of marriage, “the desire to marry and form a family remains vibrant, especially among young people, and this is an inspiration to the Church”. As a response to that desire, “the Christian proclamation on the family is good news indeed”.

Laudato Si Praised Be – Care of Our Common Home

“In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.

Evangelii Gaudium – The Joy of the Gospel

“The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelisation marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come”.

Apostolic Letter - Misericordia et misera

"What great mercy and divine justice shine forth in this narrative! Its teaching serves not only to throw light on the conclusion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, but also to point out the path that we are called to follow in the future".