Hello to you, Friend! Nannie here!
Well…if you turn on the news, it’s easy to see that Papa Francesco is where it’s at right now, with his visit to our United States of America as high profile as it gets. I have heard one news report that said security was at an all time high…like never before at any time for anyone…Ray for Papa!
As you can see by Finney’s last story, Finney is very concerned that Papa not get too stressed and have some time for fun…just like Finney does. His St. Patrick’s Godfriends “football” team is surely a true solution…what with finding wonderful fields of green and Los Santos colors for their team’s uniforms! Go Paddies! Let’s hope Finney has made the San Lorenzo Saints…and Papa…proud!
Imagine that Pronshi being all full of himself over his “Francis” name! Given that St. Francis of Assisi is the inspiration, that’s pretty good company in my book!
Finney sure thinks Papa Francesco is good company…he trusts that Papa won’t try to steal his gold…and, that Papa might be able to be counted on to let the Paddies win!
So…the usccb (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) website tells us that Papa Francesco is the fourth Pope to visit the USA…Pope Paul VI, being the first, then Pope John Paul II, then Pope Benedict XVI, and then our Pope Francis. To Ireland, however, the best my research shows, is that Pope John Paul II became the first Pope to visit Ireland, and that was in September, 1979. It seems that “nearly 3,000,000 people turned out to welcome him which is “phenomenal” when you consider that the population of the Republic (of Ireland) was not quite 3,500,000 at that time! (irishcentral.com)
The website http://www.catholicireland.net has some pretty great quotes from Pope John Paul’s words… “From the very beginning of its faith, Ireland has been linked with the Apostolic See of Rome. The early records attest that your first bishop, Palladius, was sent to Ireland by Pope Celestine; and that Patrick, who succeeded Palladius, was “confirmed in the faith” by Pope Leo the Great.”
Now, a fun fact is that Papa Francesco has been to Ireland…just not during his papacy. It seems that, “as a young Argentinean Jesuit, the future pontiff studied English in Ireland in the seventies…Ireland is very close to the Pope’s heart…He has a great love for the Blessed Virgin Mary and he is in tune with that Marian piety of the Irish people.”
This information comes from the Irish Independent’s interview of Archbishop Charles John Brown, a New York born diplomat, who is Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Ireland. According to the same source, Archbishop Brown thinks a papal visit to Ireland is indeed possible. What a fun hope that is!
But…going back to Pope John Paul’s visit, here are a few more great quotes from Catholicireland.net…(during his visit, he spoke in English and in Irish!)
“Your people have spread this love for the Catholic Church everywhere they went, in every century of your history. Ths has been done by the earliest monks and the missionaries of Europe’s Dark Ages, by the refugees from persecution, by the exiles and by the missionary men and women of the last century and this one.” Pope John Paul referred to Masses celebrated “at Mass rock in the glens and forests by hunted priests…and on top of Croagh Patrick and Lough Derg.” He went on to say “Today I wish to express the gratitude of Jesus Christ and his Church for the devotion Ireland has shown to the Holy Eucharist. As Successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ, I assure you that the Mass is indeed the source and summit of your own Christian life.” He also said, “…it gives me great happiness to see, that the Irish people maintain this traditional devotion to the Mother of God in their homes, in their parishes, and in a special way at this Shrine at Cnoc Muire (Knock).
The author of the catholicireland.net article I have quoted from, gave a fun finish to his words…
“Bidding a fond farewell to the Irish people, he commended us to God and Mary, in the language God loves best, as Cardinal O’Fiach once said.
Dia agus Muire libh! (Finney loves this!)
May God and Mary be with you and with the Families of Ireland, always.
Finney and I second that, and, God bless you and thank you for stopping by to visit!