Habemus Papam

HABEMUS PAPAMFRANCISCUM. As the words were announced from the Balcony in St Peter’s Square, Icould hear the church bells of ring out from where I was, near to the greatBasilica of St Mary Major, having left St Peter’s just hours earlier, convincedthat no announcement would be made until Friday at the earliest. And what aboutthe name. Although a Jesuit pope, Francis 1 took his name in honour of StFrancis of Assisi, because of his concern for the poor, and perhaps inspired bythe dream Francis had that he was called to rebuild the church. This is what weare crying out for, and to avoid the evil of relativism espoused by ourpoliticians and much of society today . God bless the Pope, and God blessEngland, said a very happy Italian passer- by in the street who asked where Icame from. Yes, there was joy in Rome tonight, and I felt privileged to bethere, and will walk down to St Peter’s Square in the morning in the hope ofcatching a glimpse of the new pontiff who might want to greet his flocktomorrow. It has been quite a week, being with our Pax group of 90 Catholiclaymen and wives in the Eternal City. Perhaps for me ,the highlight was aprivate visit after hours to the Vatican Museums including the superb Raphaelrooms. Passing through them, we could see workmen closing off the entrance tothe Sistine Chapel, which, presumably they will open up again over the weekend.Pax will be bringing many pilgrimage groups to Rome over the next few months, aswell as to Assisi, which has been our heartland for the last 20 years. Why notjoin us?

Philip Dean

Managing Director

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