The language of Francis … and Vincent
According to someone who knows him well, the Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires, Francis’ actions reveal five characteristics of Francis – simplicity, approachability, continuity and fidelity to the Magisterium, tenderness and service. Those who know him closely say that to truly understand what he says, one must first understand what he does.
I suspect I am not the only one to see similarities with Vincent and indeed all our holy founders and foundresses.
MSGR. EDUARDO GARCIA Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires (Argentina) added “He is very receptive to what is happening. You’ve noticed these past few days that he prepares what he says, but if something happens, or if he sees something that strikes him, he will stop and mention it.”“
Even though it has only been a month since he was elected, there have been a set of gestures that come up time and time again.
The first gesture is simplicity. He introduced himself to the world wearing plain papal vestments, without the red so called ‘mozzetta’ shoulder cover, that was worn by his predecessors.
The second point is his approachability. For now, he has chosen to stay at the Casa Santa Marta, instead of the Apostolic Palace to be more readily available. He celebrates Mass for small groups of people, and continues calling friends over the phone.
The third gesture is continuity and fidelity to the Magisterium of his predecessors. Visually speaking, the meeting between Pope Francis and Benedict XVI is what struck people the most. It happened just weeks after the Jesuit Pope was elected.
The fourth gesture is tenderness. Pope Francis has shown that he wants to represent his closeness towards others, especially towards the needy and sick.
The fifth gesture is service. In fact during his first Mass, he said the true power of a Pope, comes inservice. The image of him washing the feet of young prisoners on Holy Thursday, was seen throughout the world. Surely in the future, the spontaneous Pope will give many more surprises.
“In addition to shock and surprise, I think his election was providential and that will be a lot more clear with time. I’m convinced that in the future, Pope Francis, will surprise us even more through power of the Holy Spirit.”
What’s quite clear is that the language Pope Francis speaks best is that of gestures and actions.