Pope Francis after Saint Francis

When Jesuit Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio chose to be called Pope Francis after Saint Francis of Assisi, many people around the world were surprised but approved instantly. Although Francis of Assisi was canonized two years after he died in 1226, no pope had ever selected that name. Cardinal Bergoglio’s...

The Joy of Pope Francis

Pope Francis radiates joy at public events (think World Youth Day in Brazil and similar gatherings in Korea and Albania) and in private meetings. His interviews with journalists for Catholic magazines and daily newspapers reveal a profound joy. Reporters who cover papal trips see that same joy when...

Helping Brother Leo

Brother Leo was one of Francis’ first followers and closest companions, especially in the last years of Francis’ life. We have several letters from Francis to groups of people. His letter to Leo is one of only two letters to individuals. Perhaps this letter was written by Francis after September 1224...

Making Good Choices

Fearing that he might not resist the temptations commonly experienced by lawyers, Fidelis of Sigmaringen (1578–1622) became a Capuchin priest, a noted preacher, and a martyr. Each of us will die eventually. “What kind of conscience will I bring to that moment?” should be our main concern. “By faith,...

Ask a Franciscan: Is Every Encyclical Infallible?

Q. I know that the pope’s infallibility is not a personal trait but is part of his office as the successor of St. Peter. Even so, is every encyclical infallible? A. The short answer is no. Vatican I’s decree “Eternal Pastor” taught: “The Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when...

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