10/5/17 7:00 AM
Robert Ellsberg discusses Franciscan Media and the Franciscan faith community. When the number of votes was reached making me pope, the Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes came up to me and said: “Don’t forget the poor.” Immediately, thinking of the poor, I thought of Francis of Assisi.... Francis, the man of poverty, peace, who loves and takes care of creation, a man who gives out a sense of peace, a poor man. Oh! How I would like a church that was poor and for the poor! —Pope Francis There have been several Franciscan popes in history, most recently Pope Clement XIV (1769–1774). He is remembered, among other things, for having suppressed the Society of Jesus. Ironically, the first Jesuit elected pope, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, became the first to assume the name of Francis. Some initial speculation focused on whether he had meant to invoke the great Jesuit missionary Saint Francis Xavier, or perhaps Saint Francis de Sales. But no, as the new pope soon made clear—his inspiration was none other than Saint Francis of Assisi.