Saturday, March 23, 2013

New Papal Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms of Pope Francis is now available:

Personally, I like it. However, that's probably because blue is my favorite color! Here is a little bit of explanation:
The new pontiff's papal coat of arms and motto are the same that he used as bishop. The shield has a bright blue background, at the centre top of which is a yellow radiant sun with the IHS christogram on it representing Jesus (it is also the Jesuit logo). The IHS monogram, as well as a cross that pierces the H, are in red with three black nails directly under them. Under that, to the left, is a star representing Mary, Mother of Christ and the Church. To the right of the star is a nard flower representing Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church. With these symbols the Pope demonstrates his love for the Holy Family.

... His motto—“miserando atque eligendo” (because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him)—is taken from the Venerable Bede's homily on the Gospel account of the call of Matthew. It holds special meaning for the Pope because—when he was only 17-years-old, after going to confession on the Feast of St. Matthew in 1953—he perceived God's mercy in his life and felt the call to the priesthood, following the example of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
The Jesuit logo is a nice touch, considering it was a previous pope, Pope Clement XIV (a Franciscan!) who suppressed the Jesuit order in 1773.

When the coat of arms was announced, I couldn't help but notice a handful of Catholic traditionalists (who just can't be happy, darn it!), on a blog I don't care to name, seize the opportunity to mock the simplicity of the design, implying that it must mean Pope Francis does not take the papal office seriously. Yet, it is absurd to draw such a conclusion; there have been some pretty significant popes who have also had relatively simple coats of arms. For example, here is the Coat of Arms for master reformer Pope St. Pius V:

Pretty simple, eh? Or how about Pope Urban VIII, who famously tried Galileo:

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Social Media and the Pope

Tweets about the papal election reached 15 billion views — more than twice the world’s total population, according to a story by the National Catholic Register. In addition, it was the first papal announcement spread via social media. Some interesting tidbits:
When Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran announced the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis, the Twittersphere burst into a frenzy. Twitter reports that the March 13 announcement generated 130,000 tweets per minute and that it recorded at least 7 million tweets that day on the papal election — a record topped only by 20 million tweets generated over news of President Barack Obama’s re-election in November.

... According to Topsy, the United States and Argentina generated 22% and 19% percent of Twitter traffic over the Pope’s election. South-American countries (including Argentina) generated at least 41% of all related Twitter traffic.

Mentions of “Pope” on Facebook increased 10,000% in user statuses after the announcement of Francis’ election, according to Facebook. It reported the top two mentions worldwide that day were “Pope” and “Jorge Bergoglio,” followed by “Vatican,” “White smoke,” “Cardinal” and “Catholic.”
In addition, the papal twitter account @Pontifex has been brought back to life:
At 3:33 ET, the Pope made the announcement “HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM” — a message that in all caps reflected the excitement of the digital and real worlds following the election. The message has been retweeted more than 82,000 times.
Read the whole article.

It was interesting see Anderson Cooper and reporters from every major news source in St. Peter's Square together with hundreds of thousands of people standing in the rain with their eyes glued to a small chimney waiting for smoke. And even today, approx. 150,000 people showed up in the cold for the weekly Angelus prayer with the new pope, Pope Francis.

Capturing the moment

Update: The 2005 photo isn't from the papal announcement, as is implied, but from the funeral procession of Blessed John Paul II. Still, the 2013 image is striking...

Ran across this image from NBC news. Papal announcement at St. Peter's square in 2005 vs. 2013. Notice anything different?

What a different 8 years makes! (although the folks in the 2005 image look like they may be a lot farther away from the basilica than those in the 2013 image. Difficult to tell. Nevertheless...)

Pope Francis the Chestertonian

Mark Shea reports that according to Sean Dailey, Editor-in-Chief of Gilbert Magazine, “The new pope is an honorary board member of the Argentinean Chesterton Society.”

Here is the proof.

Pretty cool :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails