Why Is Pope Francis So Popular?
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Politics and Activism

Why Is Pope Francis So Popular?

Viva il Papa! Long live the Pope!

Why Is Pope Francis So Popular?
L'Osservatore Romano

In the religious realm, Pope Francis is basically an international superstar. Not only is he the figurehead of the Roman Catholic Church on earth, but there are qualities about him that drive people in droves from all over the world just to hear him speak. My family took a trip to Rome, and decided to attend mass at the Vatican in hopes of experiencing Pope Francis live and in the flesh. After being in St. Peter’s Square with 100,000 other eager individuals, I realized firsthand what makes this certain Pope so unique.

1. Pope Francis is the first pope from a South American country.

He was born in Argentina, in the city of Buenos Aires. Pope Francis is the first pope from a Latin American country, as the majority of other popes have been from European countries. At the mass, the number of people waving flags from Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, and other Spanish-speaking countries was staggering. He truly draws an international audience.

2. He speaks at least six languages.

His native language is Spanish, but with the unique and distinct Argentinian accent and slang. In addition to Spanish, Pope Francis also speaks Italian, Latin, French, German, and English. Surprisingly, he has stated that English is the most difficult for him due to the pronunciation. During the mass, Pope Francis only spoke Italian and Latin despite his native tongue.

3. When he's not at the Vatican, Pope Francis is visiting countries around the world to connect with the people.

Pope Francis has traveled to over 23 countries since being named in 2013, with many more stops on the horizon.

4. He works to relate to all generations, including our own.

You can follow Pope Francis on twitter at @Pontifex, but that's not all. He created an Instagram account this past March in order to reach the users active on social media, and already has amassed 2.5 million followers.

5. He's wildly unpredictable.

While visiting the United States, Pope Francis turned down an invitation to eat with several members of Congress. Instead, he dined with the homeless in Washington D.C.

6. Pope Francis focuses on religious viewpoints that correspond with this day and age.

His encyclical “Laudato Sí” highlights the importance of protecting our planet, responding to climate change, and assisting areas that are the most vulnerable.

7. He cares more about interactions with the pilgrims that come to visit him than his own personal security.

Apparently this drives his guards bonkers, but the pope insists on being available and accessible to his people. After the mass had ended, Pope Francis jumped onto the camera cart of someone managing the jumbotron and proceeded to zig-zag through the crowd. This allowed me to get within 10 feet of him, and I can now say that I fan-girled over Pope Francis.

8. He lives humbly.

Pope Francis turned down living in the Papal Palace, and instead resides in an apartment within the Vatican. He drives a 20-year-old car, and hardly uses the pope mobile. Pope Francis frequently donates money to the poor, and according to the Swiss Guards, sometimes sneaks out at night dressed as a priest to assist the homeless.

9. Pope Francis stresses inclusion and harmony amongst world religions.

Even though he is the head of the Catholic church, he continuously meets with leaders of other world religions such as Judaism and Islam. He stated on Vatican Radio that even those who do not believe in God can still enter Heaven, saying, "The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ, all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! Even the atheists. We must meet one another doing good.”

10. He's the first pope to ever choose the name "Francis."

Pope Francis chose the name to follow in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi. One of his main goals is to represent and serve the poor and vulnerable, and St. Francis is the patron saint of animals and ecology.

11. Pope Francis is the perfect example of leading by actions, not just words.

As soon as the mass had ended, a voice from deep in the crowd rang out, yelling "Viva il Papa!" This translates to "Long live the Pope!"

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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