Last Wednesday night crowds filled the Cathedral of Buenos Aires  and the adjacent Plaza de Mayo in central Buenos Aires. People carried Argentinean flags and rosaries, some had tears streaming down their faces.  They were celebrating the election of a new pope, Francis. Why? Because he is the first Argentinean -in fact, the first non-European- pope since the 8th century. And also the first Jesuit ever to sit on  St. Peter’s throne.

I got goosebumps when the French cardinal  Jean-Louis Tauran made an announcement in Latin which included the name Bergoglio, the only word I was able to understand. But it was enough.  I was thrilled and celebrated at home along with the tens of thousands of people gathered at St. Peter’s Square in Rome. Cardinal Mario Bergoglio chose the name Francis in honour of St. Francis of Assissi, a saint known for his humility and great charity.

There are those who rejoiced in this choice and those who decry it. I think we should let the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires start his pastoral mission and see what he has to offer the world.

Photo: La Nacion


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About the author

Ana Astri-O’Reilly is from Argentina, where she lived until five years ago. She currently lives in Dallas, USA with her British husband, but they move a lot. Previously a translator and English and Spanish teacher, Ana first started writing to share her experiences and adventures with friends and family. She speaks Spanish, English and a smattering of Portuguese.