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Papa Francis The First | His Holiness Papa Francisco

Faith Is Not a Popularity Contest...

A study released yesterday by the Pew Research Center reports that Pope Francis’s popularity is steadily rising in the U.S., achieving numbers not seen since a saint held the chair of Peter. The current pontiff has an approval rating of 90% (compared to 16% for Congress—the people we actually voted for) among U.S. Catholics. The number reaches to 95% among Catholics who attend Mass weekly and still achieves a respectable 86% among those who attend Mass, well, weakly.

While having “pope” as your job title gives you a head start among Catholics, getting real support from the pews is not a given in our era. But Francis is doing his best to make it popular to be Catholic. It’s cool to follow a pope who gets Twitter. It’s easy to admire the reforming streak of a man who is doing his best to clean house at the Vatican Bank. It’s hard for anyone to resist the charisma of this surprising man who showers the homeless with sleeping bags (with the papal insignia, no less) and, well, showers.

If you’re a fan who can’t get enough of this guy, check out what he has to say about the ideals of Saint Francis. This new book, published in cooperation with the Vatican, features some of Pope Francis’s best homilies, addresses, and Tweets, in gorgeously packaged, delightfully digestible pieces. If you already have your copy, get one for a friend. There’s a 90% chance they’ll love it.

Photo courtesy of giulio napolitano / Shutterstock.com

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."