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Angels drop flowers on the Vatican following the billowing of white smoke and the peal of bells.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, is now Pope Francis, Vicar of Christ.

Some of his own words from his days as a cardinal . . .

:: The Attraction of the Cardinal book presentation, April 27, 2001 (Traces Magazine)

He who encounters Jesus Christ feels the impulse to witness Him or to give witness of what he has encountered, and this is the Christian calling. To go and give witness. You can’t convince anybody. The encounter occurs. You can prove that God exists, but you will never be able, using the force of persuasion, to make anyone encounter God. This is pure grace. Pure grace. In history, from its very beginning until today, grace always ‘primerea,’ grace always comes first, then comes all the rest.

:: The Eucharist, Gift of God for the Life of the World (Catechesis at International Eucharistic Congress; June 18, 2008)

“I will close by saying that the holiness of the Church does not arise from personal or social privilege but rather from service. Let me explain. The world has the impression that the Church is always defending its power. It may be that in certain personal cases this is true, but generally it is not the case. By defending its identity and infallibility, the Church defends the conduit through which the gift of life to the world passes—the gift of the life of the world to God. What the Church is defending when it defends its integrity is its own identity. This gift, the most beautiful expression of which is the Eucharist, is not a gift among others but the most intimate and complete self-giving of the Trinity given for the life of the world, a gift made by the Son who offers himself to the Father.”