What's in a name? The new pope chooses Pope Francis as name, first to use Francis

Pope will lead alone

Pope Francis is getting right to work. He will celebrate his first Mass as pope in the Sistine Chapel on Thursday, and will be installed officially as pope on Tuesday, according to the Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi.
 
The Vatican said the new pope's official name is Pope Francis, without a Roman numeral, because he is the first to use 'Francis'.
 
Although it is the first time Francis is being used, "Francis" is a name that carries a lot of cachet in Italy.
 
 St. Francis of Assisi is one of Italy's patron saints. The Umbrian hill town of Assisi, where the saint lived a humble life of poverty, is one of Italy's major draws for pilgrims and other tourists. It is also associated with world peace movements.
 
 St. Francis Xavier is another noted evangelist and a prominent Jesuit missionary. The new Pope Francis is one of the Jesuit order's most prominent members.
 
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, sought to clear up any possible confusion, noting that Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who announced the name to the world, said simply "Francis." It is also listed that way in the first Vatican bulletin on the new pope.
 
"It will become Francis I after we have a Francis II," Lombardi quipped.
 
Despite his new new name and quick filling of the job, one thing is for sure: the new pope will lead alone.
 
Benedict XVI's decision to be the first pontiff to step down in 600 years raised a host of questions about his role in the Church. But he made clear as he ended his leadership that there was no doubt who would be in charge, pledging obedience to the future pontiff.
 
The former pope's coat of arms was removed from a floral display in front of the Vatican's governor's palace and his fisherman's ring, an official part of the pope's regalia that features an image of St. Peter fishing from a boat, as well as the personal seals and stamps he used for official papers were destroyed.
 
Benedict has literally been kept out of sight. The emeritus pope has only been spotted once since retiring -- in a photo snapped by a paparazzo hiding in a tree.

 

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