Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pope at Prayer

These images struck me as profound manifestations of the deep prayer life and Marian devotion of Pope Francis. 

 Pope Francis at prayer before the icon of Mary, Salus Populi Romani

At prayer before the relics of Pope Saint Pius V, another pope known for his austerity

Here's an interesting excerpt from the Catholic Encyclopedia on the practices of Pope Pius V. I can't help see a parallel to Pope Francis (of course, excluding the less than flattering insinuations about the predecessors of Pope Pius V. Pope Francis is blessed with an outstanding predecessor):
He began his pontificate by giving large alms to the poor, instead of distributing his bounty at haphazard like his predecessors. As pontiff he practiced the virtues he had displayed as a monk and a bishop. His piety was not diminished, and, in spite of the heavy labours and anxieties of his office, he made at least two meditations a day on bended knees in presence of the Blessed Sacrament. In his charity he visited the hospitals, and sat by the bedside of the sick, consoling them and preparing them to die. He washed the feet of the poor, and embraced the lepers. It is related that an English nobleman was converted on seeing him kiss the feet of a beggar covered with ulcers. He was very austere and banished luxury from his court, raised the standard of morality, laboured with his intimate friend, St. Charles Borromeo, to reform the clergy, obliged his bishops to reside in their dioceses, and the cardinals to lead lives of simplicity and piety.

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