Pope Francis is considered the Pope with many firsts. He is the first Pope who uses the name Francis; He is the first Pope who hails from Latin America; and he is the first Jesuit Pope. In just less than 2 years as the High Pontiff, he has already done so many wonderful and incredible acts which have captured the attention of different people from all over the world. These are people who are not only Catholics but also with other religions. In fact, he has immediately been named by the Time’s Magazine as the “Person of the Year” for 2013.
Check out some few among many great things that he has done as the Successor of Peter and Head of the Catholic Church.
1. He ditched the Pope Mobile
After Pope John Paul II got shot, the Vatican tried to keep the Pope safe by constructing the bulletproof Pope Mobile, but Francis has ditched it. To show his humility, he chose to ride in an ordinary car rather than in a luxurious one. After he was elected, he rode with the other Cardinals in the minibus. But not only that, instead of riding around in the a luxurious Mercedes, he choose this 20-year-old Renault to ride around the Vatican city. It was given to him as a gift with almost 200,000 miles on it. This is not clearly safe, but something tells me this awesome Pope is not too concerned about dying.
2. He instructed the Church’s officials to prioritize helping the poor and the sick
The Pope’s primary concern is the welfare of His people. With this, he created and established organizations that can become his loving hands.
3. He will embrace you no matter what you look like.
When Pope Francis saw Vinicia Riva, a man whose body is covered in boils, he did not hesitate to put his arms around him. This was an extraordinary action done by the Pope to a man who was often ridiculed in public. Such action has definitely renovated the man’s faith to our Saviour and Healer, Jesus Christ.
4. He admitted that he has no right to judge the gays and lesbians
He encouraged everyone, especially Christians, to respect the lives of homosexuals. He asserted that no one should judge homosexuals who painstakingly search for the Lord and do good things to others. However, he maintained that the work of the Church as the protector of the moral ascendency of the people should always be remembered.
5. He kissed the feet of prisoners
It was customary for the Pope to celebrate Holy Week in the Vatican. However, he showed the true meaning of Christ’s suffering and death by celebrating it at Casal del Marmo jail for minors. To commemorate the passion of Christ, he simply kissed the 12 feet of young offenders as a sign of humility despite being the Head of the Church. It became very touching when he also washed the feet of women and Muslims. Please take note that it was not a tradition to kiss the feet of the women and especially other religions during the Holy Week service.
6. He became one with the natives in protecting the Amazon Rainforest
As the Pope visited Brazil, he felt the need on the protection of the Amazon from the ranchers and farmers who are trying to overrun the natives.
7. He comforted a rape victim
A rape victim has revitalized her faith in God, when Pope Francis called her unexpectedly. She did not anticipate that a Pope would answer her letter. Well, he is one of a kind. He really gives time to ordinary people especially to those who are oppressed. The woman was spiritually comforted by Pope Francis.
8. He risked going out of the Vatican to feed the hungry
When he was still a bishop and cardinal, he was used of visiting the homeless, street children and the needy in order to let them feel that Christ was always present within them, especially during their turbulent moments. Being a Pope did not hinder him to continue this act of love. He disguised himself so that he can go out without security and joined Archbishop Konrad Krajewski to feed his poor neighbors.
9. He sold his luxurious motorcycle to fund a hostel and soup kitchen for the poor
A Harley Davidson motorcycle is one of the known motor bikes in the world. Without hesitation, he donated it to build something for the homeless.
10. He did not despise the atheists
This one might really raise a lot of eyebrows. In one of his Homily, Pope Francis suggested that doing good might be more important than believing the right things and he said, “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists.”
You might ask, where would he get such a blasphemous idea?! The Answer is simple: Jesus – who suggested that the Priest and the Levite (who believed all the right things) weren’t doing as good of a job of keeping the commandment to “love your neighbor” as that godless Samaritan. Another answer: The Bible, where it says, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (I John 2:2)
Pope Franchise asserted that “Atheists should be seen as good people if they do good.” Again, he changed another interpretation of Catholics about the atheist. He believed that everyone who does good to others will always have a chance to be with God even the atheists who do not believe in one supreme being.
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