Why Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio chose to be pope Francis?


When elected pope in March 2013 Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, chose Francis as his papal name in honour of St Francis of Assisi. He is the first ever Pope Francis.

Pope Francis explained that he had done so in solidarity with the world’s poor. He explained that, as soon as it became clear that the cardinals had chosen him, his friend, the Brazilian Cardinal Cláudio Hummes had embraced him and whispered, “Don’t forget the poor”.

He later told journalists, “that struck me…the poor…. Immediately I thought of St Francis of Assisi. Francis was a man of peace, a man of poverty, a man who loved and protected creation…. How I would love a Church that is poor and for the poor.”

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