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A model for all

· Messages and greetings on the occasion of the first anniversary of the election of Pope Francis ·

A Church that is poor and for the poor, and which reaches ot to the margins of society: this is the hope, the encouragement and the image of Pope Francis which is reflected in the countless messages and greetings circulating on the occasion of the first anniversary (tomorrow March 13) of his election as Pope.

According to the U.S. Bishops, Francis “has consistently called upon Catholics to look again at the fundamental values of the Gospel”. He has set an example, by “choosing a personal simplicity of life, by washing the feet of prisoners, and by taking into his hands and kissing” people who are seriously ill. His constant openness to the marginalized, and the emphasis he has given to mercy and charity, “have served as an inspiration not only to Catholics but also to other Christians and to all men of good will”.

Francis is an example and a model. This is how Archbishop Joseph Edward Kurtz, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has described the Pope. He said that the Pontiff “provides inspiration in so many ways”, “as a communicator” and as a “son of the Church”, as shepherd and priest, as a leader, as a Catholic, as a person. Francis “has brought new energy and is a reference point for priests and amodel for bishops”.

Even the decision to dedicate a Synod to the family shows that “this Pope has a right view of the world”, says Archbishop Józef Michalik, President of the Polish Bishops' Conference. For he “points to an awareness, a willingness to look at where the origin of the problem lies. If the foundations crumble, the whole society breaks down. However, if man has a stable reference point he can withstand any difficulty. By choosing the family - said Michalik - the Church and the Pope want to show that there is hope.

Patriach José Manuel do Nascimento Clemente Macário of Lisbon, Portugal referred to “an extremely positive assessment since Pope Francis has fulfilled all the hopes raised by his election”.

As reported by AsiaNews, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, expressed his “thank you” for this first year of his pontificate and recalled how Francis emphasized evangelization and the mission as the highest priority for the Church.


In Assisi, at the tomb of the Poverello, the brothers of the Sacred Convent will pray tomorrow, at the hour when Cardinal Bergoglio was elected Pope. It will be a special day for the whole Church. It has been said that the Pope is “incarnating the charism of Francis through key themes such as peace, creation, and poverty”.

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