When Pope Francis was elected and announced that he had taken the name of Francis, Father Michael Perry, now the new Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor said, “I physically started shaking because this man has taken the name of the person we hold as a model who calls us to live faithfully the Gospel. And I started thinking how short we fall sometimes in living the Gospel.”
The Holy Father has energized and challenged the Franciscans by choosing the name of their venerable founder, St. Francis of Assisi. Pope Francis’ simple life of poverty and care for the poor and marginalized is causing the Franciscans to “to rediscover our own authenticity, and calling us to simplify our lives and to speak less and demonstrate more who we are.”
Father Perry was elected Minister General on May 22, 2013, the spiritual father to 14,000 Franciscans worldwide. The Indiana native said that St. Francis “brings us back to the very core of who we are as human beings. Francis is a convener of humanity, he helps people come together and see what really matters for their lives and that we can live together in peace, we can care for one another and we can care for our world.”
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