Cartoon by Roni Santiago
Cartoon by Roni Santiago

It is heart-warming to know that the new pope, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who is now called Pope Francis, is a paragon of humility and simplicity.

Reports had it that Pope Francis prefers a simple life rather than a princely life that befits his position as the Supreme Pontiff.

A Reuters report stated that “shortly after his election on Wednesday night (March 13), Pope Francis shunned the papal limousine and rode in the last shuttle bus with other cardinals to go back to a residence inside the Vatican for a meal.”

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan related that most of the cardinals had taken buses back to their residence in the Vatican and had lined up to greet the new pope as he arrived for their last meal as a group, Reuters reported.

“They were expecting him to arrive in the limousine that they had seen waiting for him at the base of the Apostolic Palace. And as the last bus pulls up, guess who gets off? It’s Pope Francis,” Reuters quoted Dolan as telling reporters.

It was also reported that while Pope Francis was the cardinal of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he preferred to live in an apartment with modest facilities rather than in the cardinal’s mansion. He also cooked his food and took bus ride in going to work.

It was likewise reported that last year, Bergoglio delivered a speech,  accusing his “fellow Church officials of hypocrisy for forgetting that Jesus bathed lepers and ate with prostitutes.”

In 1999, reports stated, the Argentine cardinal washed the feet of 12 AIDS patients in Buenos Aires, and in 2000 he washed the feet of 12 prison inmates.

These reports show how deep is the humility of the new Pope.

Christians all over the world could become better followers of Christ if they make Pope Francis as their model. The new Pontiff is practicing to the hilt the virtue of humility and the vow of poverty of Saint Francis of Assisi from whom he got his name.

But practicing humility is easier said than done. This is particularly true to people who have been enjoying luxury and comfort.

People, who have been using expensive cars, would engage in self-pity if, for one reason or another, they find themselves riding in a bus.

People, who often go to ritzy restaurants to enjoy fine dining, would feel miserable if they find themselves eating canned food or cooking their own meals.

People, who rub elbows with the rich and famous, would feel uncomfortable if the find themselves in the midst of poor, unwashed folks.

But with Pope Francis showing us how to be truly humble, there is great hope for the faithful to adhere to the teachings of Jesus, who is “meek and humble of heart.”

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