I remember jumping off the bed at the dawn of March 13th; though I clearly couldn't remember what woke me up at 4:30AM that day. I rushed downstairs to turn on the television after seeing tweets having a new pope to take over the position vacated by now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
The first thing I saw on my screen was the crowd in St. Peter's Basilica - all obviously cheering as white smoke was emitted out of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel. I knew it was a replay of what transpired hours prior. Then, the scene shifted to the famous balcony where a man wearing white stood before the vast sea of Catholics - the pope.
It instantly amazed me how he didn't wear the usual red attire of popes. I've always considered it the symbol of the highest priests so it kind of struck me that the elected pontifex wasn't wearing the traditional clothes.
But as I knew of the name he chose, I immediately understood.
I am not joking. I was really moved to tears upon realizing that he got the name from St. Francis of Assisi, the saint closest to my heart since I serve in his parish here in Meycauayan. But what definitely struck me most was the fact that the new Holy Father had the saint's virtues reflected on him on his first day in the position...
And it continued until TIME declared him as their Person of the Year 2013...
and I know it will continue further...
The Catholic Church was clearly in the verge of division but as a Catholic myself, I feel the revolution which Pope Francis had been initiating since the very beginning. With his every decision and statement about sensitive things this faith normally would have frowned upon, I feel prouder that I am a member of this faith.
What makes him entirely special is that he embraced the things tradition would have condemned. He based his leadership according to what this generation needs. To me, it wasn't actually being liberated. It was being one with the people today in understanding and discovering what the Church actually needs to know. Life in this world is constantly changing and Pope Francis opened his ears, his ears, and his heart to see, listen and feel like the world. He humbled himself and became one with us.
But as he mingled with ordinary people, he exerts effort to encompass the religious teachings in his daily activities. Remember when he asked everyone to pray for him as soon as he was elected pope? Remember when there was a child who went to the stage while he was delivering a speech in front of a crowd? Remember when he kissed the sick man despite how he looks like? All those were humility - a major virtue which we all should learn.
I haven't read TIME's article about the pope and why the chose him; but I am very certain that he was put under the spotlight because he deserved it. If there's anyone who's the epitome of change in our society today, it would be him.
I'm not saying the past popes I know weren't like him. It's just that this is Pope Francis' way in showing what the Catholic Way is. And once again, I tear. Can I be any prouder?