Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The latest Francis

“What are they cheering for?” asked my daughter, overhearing the news.

We have a new pope, I said – and he’s the first ever from the Americas.

 “YAY! Go America!” The Girl said, raising a fist like her football team won. When we visited my native USA last year, she regarded that land of giant stores and vast roads with a sense of awe, like Alice visiting Wonderland.

Not the USA itself, I said, but South America. He had a name as an ordinary man, but as pope he has taken the name Francis I.

“He can’t be, Daddy – he has to be Francis III,” she said. Why the third? “Because before him there was Francis Assisi and Francis A-Bacon,” she said.

 Francis Assisi was a great man – he spent his life helping the poor – but he was a monk, not a pope. And Francis Bacon was a knight, and one of the first scientists.

“And what will the pope be?” she asked.

I'd like him to be all those things, I said, privately not raising my hopes too high. We need more people like that in the world.

Photo: The Girl, some time ago, at the Rock of Cashel, in a church built in the 1100s.

1 comment:

Toomas (Tom) Karmo said...

Thank you so much for blogging about yesterday's happy papal election, with that photo that speaks of faith.

One thinks of Ireland as a mystical place, harbouring many good things, including (as Yeats wrote in "Under Ben Bulben") "the holiness of monks".

Maybe you can read a stanza of "Under Ben Bulben" out to the Girl, if your time permits?

Irish poets, earn your trade,
Sing whatever is well made,
Scorn the sort now growing up
All out of shape from toe to top,
Their unremembering hearts and heads
Base-born products of base beds.
Sing the peasantry, and then
Hard-riding country gentlemen,
The holiness of monks, and after
Porter-drinkers' randy laughter;
Sing the lords and ladies gay
That were beaten into the clay
Through seven heroic centuries;
Cast your mind on other days
That we in coming days may be
Still the indomitable Irishry.

Sincerely, from Canada,

Toomas (Tom) Karmo
www dot metascientia dot com