What's in a Name?
Pope Francis tells diplomats he choose to be named after St. Francis of Assisi, a familiar figure far beyond the borders of Italy and Europe, because:
* St. Francis' love of the poor and his heart of compassion in caring for and looking after those who suffer is a beautiful example of how we must all help the sick, orphans, the homeless and all the marginalized, thus striving to make society more humane and more just.
* We, as St. Francis, need to work to build a bridge of peace. We must tear down the barricades that allow the spiritual poverty of our time, the 'tyranny of relativism', which makes everyone his own criterion and endangers the coexistence of peoples, and build a bridge on the foundation of truth.
Fighting poverty, both material and spiritual, building peace and constructing bridges: these are the reference points for a journey that Pope Francis invites us to take up... and guess what, in choosing his papal name, he gave us just the model to follow!