Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Which Francis?

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The new Bishop of Rome has chosen the name Pope Francis I. Most commentators assumes that he chose this name in honour of St Francis of Assisi, but I am doubtful. The new Pope is a member of the Jesuit Order founded by Ignatius of Loyola. In the early Jesuit Order there were six prominent figures, one of them was Francis Xavier, a co-founder of the Jesuit Order, and later to be canonized as Saint Francis Xavier. If the new Pope was going to name himself after a Francis, it is more than likely after his Jesuit ancestor St Francis Xavier, someone from his own order, rather than St Francis of Assisi founder of the Franciscans, another order. The Jesuits are extremely loyal.

Does it matter whether he named himself after St Francis of Assisi or after St Francis Xavier? Well, anyone that knows a bit about the Jesuit Order will tell you that it surely does matter. We live in exciting times.

Then again, I may be wrong . . .

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