Newly-elected Pope Francis is quickly becoming known as a humble man of prayer, as the first 24 hours of his papacy show. It has become known that as Cardinal Jorge Borgoglio of Buenos Aires, he declined the use of a personal limo and preferred to take the bus each day. It seems not much has changed, as immediately after being elected pope he took the bus back from St. Peter’s with the other cardinals. Cardinal Timothy Dolan told reporters,
“So we take the buses over and cardinals kind of wait outside to greet the new Holy Father as he comes back to Doma Santa Marta…and as the last bus pulls up, guess who gets off the bus? Pope Francis,” Dolan said. “So I guess he told the driver, ‘That’s OK. I’ll just go with the guys on the bus.'”
This spirit of prayerful humility could also be seen in his first full day as pope. He began his day by visiting the Basilica of St. Mary Major, stopping to pray for about 30 minutes. Pope Francis told the crowd in a packed St. Peter’s Square yesterday that he would pray to the Our Lady “that she may watch over all of Rome.”
After leaving the Basilica, Pope Francis continued on to the Domus Internationalis Paulus V, where he had been staying before the conclave. He went to pick up his luggage, insisted on paying his bill and took time to thank the staff of the residence. Rev. Pawel Rytel-Andrianek, who was also staying at the residence, said,
“He wanted to come here because he wanted to thank the personnel, people who work in this house. … He greeted them one by one, no rush, the whole staff.”
Rev. Rytel-Andrianek noted that the pope knew everyone by name.
Read the full story of Pope Francis’ morning here.