Father for everyone

2013-03-21 L’Osservatore Romano

At 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday the small chapel where Cardinal Bergoglio often celebrated Mass was closed. He preferred to go this chapel, even though he had a private one which was much more comfortable. He went there because it was in the middle of the people, everyday people. It was the chapel near the stop for the 126 bus which he took every morning to this place in order to pray at the foot of the small statue of Our Lady of Luján, which Cardinal Bergoglio himself had asked to be placed there on high.

“I thank the heavens for giving us Pope Francis”, stated Julio a security guard with a fluorescent yellow vest, from behind the area where the international press was connected to St Peter's Square for the Inauguration Mass of Pope Francis' Pontificate. “We should not think, as Argentines do, that we are better than others”, he observed. “But I think that they could not have chosen a better father. A gift of God for us and the work of Providence for building a better Argentina”. “I believe”, he concluded, “that he is the right man to open the doors to an ascetic Church, one in which we can build a foundation for a merciful community that understands how to forgive and to fight for equality for all her brothers”.

At 5:00 a.m. Plaza de Mayo was already filled to capacity. Many young people had come to the square beginning at 10:00 p.m. the evening before for a prayer vigil and waited for the broadcast of the Mass on four maxi-screen televisions. In small groups they drank coffee and mate. There were people selling churros who dragged their carts among the faithful and the cameramen's tripods of international television stations.

A large white sign in front of the door to the Cathedral of Buenos Aires read: Ante de ser Papa ya estabas con el acampe y su lucha. Gracias Su Santidad.

from Buenos Aires, Cristian Martini Grimaldi