When it became evident, on the evening of March 13th, five years ago, that my brother Cardinals had chosen me to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, my close friend Cardinal Claudio Hummes, who sat beside me in the Conclave, embraced me and said: “Don’t forget the poor”.
These words brought to my mind St Francis of Assisi and in that moment I understood that as Pope I wanted to adopt his name. By his own life and example, the Poverello of Assisi, as St Francis is commonly called, shows us the love of God for the poor. And in that moment I recalled “my own” poor, those whom I had left in Buenos Aires.
There is a relationship between poverty, violence and environmental decay.
St Francis understood this and for that reason he knew how to communicate with the whole of creation, recognizing nature as the “splendid book in…
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