In the New York Review of Books, Gary Wills speculates on other reasons why St. Francis of Assisi was an apt name for the pope. “Francis of Assisi was not a priest, and this pope is a searing critic of careerism among clerics.” Just let that sink in: we have a pope named after a saint who was not ordained a priest.
Wills notes that the first Franciscans were “trailblazers as preachers of the Gospel to lay persons,” and “after the success of the friars in this field, bishops sent their priests to learn from these non-priests how to speak to the people.” He also points out that Francis sought out dialogue with the Muslim sultan, and this at a time when the Fifth Crusade was on and others were using the sword to make converts.
Let us pray for Francis, the Pope. May the Lord preserve him, give him a long life, make him blessed upon the earth, and may the Lord not hand him over to the power of his enemies.
[An earlier version of the post incorrectly stated that St. Francis was never ordained. He was ordained a deacon, so the post has been corrected to state that he was not ordained a priest.]