Friday, July 5, 2013

Busy Pope Francis: Vatican Consecration, New Encyclical, and Canonization Approval

Many joyful tidings are coming from Rome today as Pope Francis joined forces with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to give us plenty of reason for joy and hope.

Vatican Consecrated to Protection of St. Michael the Archangel
To the joy of Vatican City State workers, Friday morning Pope Francis was joined by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI in the gardens for a ceremony during which the Holy Father blessed a statue of St Michael Archangel, at the same time consecrating the Vatican to the Archangel’s protection.

Following a brief ceremony, Pope Francis addressed those present noting how St. Michael defends the People of God from its enemy par excellence, the devil. He said even if the devil attempts to disfigure the face of the Archangel and thus the face of humanity, St Michael wins, because God acts in him and is stronger.
Read it all here.

Pope Francis' Encyclical to Be Released Today
Faith is the source of light, of guidance for the Christian life. “We walk by faith, not by sight,” wrote St Paul. In his highly anticipated first encyclical, The Light of Faith (Lumen Fidei), Pope Francis reflects on the meaning of faith, the beginning of God’s gracious salvation and the means by which man encounters the living God through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.

In The Light of Faith, Francis draws on key themes of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who wrote encyclicals on charity and hope. He intended to complete the set with a reflection on faith, which would also have underscored the Year of Faith that he launched. Benedict’s history-making retirement meant he was unable to finish his encyclical. Francis took up the task, adding his own insights, themes and emphases to the work begun by Benedict XVI.

According to Francis, The Light of Faith is a “four-hand document.” Pope Benedict, Francis notes, “handed it to me, it is a strong document. He did the great amount of work.” Thus, although officially The Light of Faith (Lumen Fidei) is an encyclical of Francis’ and reflects his teaching ministry, it is also reflects the work of Pope Emeritus Benedict. It’s not only Francis’ first encyclical; it is also among the few encyclicals openly acknowledged to have been written by two successors of St. Peter.
Find the encyclical here.  I'm especially excited that Pope Benedict worked on this also ... I've got a soft spot for his writing.

I see that Ignatius Press will be releasing it in book form. I usually read new encyclicals in any way I can get them when they first come out. However, I have found that later readings are best for me in book form. So much better than those hastily printed out pages from the internet that I lose or forget about later.

John Paul II and John XXIII to Be Canonized

No date announced yet, but this is exciting!
Friday morning, Pope Francis approved the promulgation of the decree and also convoked a special Consistory of the College of Cardinals to discuss the canonization of the Polish pope in depth.

Furthermore, he approved the favorable votes of the Ordinary Session of the Congregations Cardinals and Bishops regarding the raising to the altars of sainthood of Blessed John XXII.

This slightly unusual gesture was explained by Fr. Lombardi who told journalists that despite the absence of a second miracle it was the Pope’s will that the Sainthood of the great Pope of the Second Vatican Council be recognized.


  1. I like that he just signed the encyclical Franciscus without the "PP." He prefers the title Bishop of Rome as opposed to Pope, and that is huge for ecumenism!

    1. On a personal level, my response to him not preferring to use Pope is that it means Papa ... and he is our Papa in faith. Which title he does not want use. I'm not taking it personally or anything, but there is such a thing as eschewing too much about the office so that it sends an inadvertent message. Ecumenism is all very well but he is Catholic first, Pope first, and everyone knows it. Using the name or not doesn't change that.

  2. We truly need St. Michael's protection! Thank you Pope Francis!

  3. Like all that Pope Francis has so far achieved pray he may long prosper in the Lord's vineyard

  4. I think it will go down as the busiest day of his entire pontificate.