Filipino Franciscans welcome Pope Francis

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MANILA, March 15, 2013—Franciscan friars in the Philippines joined the whole Catholic community in welcoming the new Pope, who chose the name Francis in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Orders of Friars Minor (OFM), also known as the Franciscan friars. 

Minister Provincial of the San Pedro Bautista Province, Fr. Lino Gregorio Redoblado, OFM, said that he doesn’t know personally why the new Pope chose the name Francis, but there is a fitting story in his life where he heard a voice from God, “Francis, build my Church for it is falling to ruin.” 

“We also need a Church today that is humble, simple and close to the little ones of which St. Francis, the Poverello (The Little Poor Man) is known for. I think that is why the new Pope chose the saint’s name,” Redoblado said. 

Redoblado expressed that Franciscans are honored that their founder’s name was chosen as the name of the new Pope. 

“But I believe it is truly God’s call for the whole Church to journey the path of renewal and conversion that St. Francis also began by bringing new life and vigor to the Church,” he added. 

When asked if the inspiration of the new Pope to honor St. Francis can affect the ministry of Pope Francis, Redoblado stressed that St. Francis reformed the Church from within while others arrogantly defied the Church and became heretics. 

“Pope Francis, following the Poverello will surely be bold in making reforms with love and gentleness,” Redoblado furthered. (Jandel Posion) 

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