THE NEW SHEPHERD

The Surprising Greatness of Pope Francis

Source: Rev. Msgr. Dr. John A. Renken, P.H. from Ottawa

Shared by: Msgr. Kenneth Steffen

The surprising greatness of this new Pope Francis

is in the small things.

 For example,

. . . . .The ability to say, “Brothers and sisters, good evening,”

 instead of appealing to the centuries, the Scriptures or the universe

 to present himself to the world.


….. To wear an iron cross of instead of a golden one

 ….. To wash the feet of the prisoners

….. To care for the Swiss Guard

who guards the door of his apartment in Casa Santa Marta

every night until dawn.


A few days ago, at dawn, the time the Pope wakes up,

he came out to the corridor,

and he found in front of his door,

the sentry, a Swiss Guard standing with his halberd at attention.

 He asked him “And what are you doing here? 

Have you been up all night?’

 “Yes,” replied the guard with deference and a bit surprised.

 “On your feet?”

 “Your Holiness, my duty since I took over from my companion.”

 “And aren’t you tired?”

“It’s my duty, Your Holiness.  I should watch for your safety.”

 Pope Francis looked at him again with kindness,

went back to his suite

and after a minute, he came out carrying a chair. 

“At least sit down and rest.”

 The guard rolled his eyes and answered:

“Santo Padre, forgive me, but I cannot! 

The regulations do not allow that.”

 “The regulations?”

 “Orders from my captain, your Holiness.”

 The Pope smiled, “Oh really? 

Well, I’m the Pope and I order you to sit down.”

 So, caught between the regulations and the Pope,

the Swiss guard (so much for the halberd) chose the chair.

 The Pope returned to his apartment.

 After a couple of minutes,

 the Pope came back to the Swiss Guard.

still obediently seated on the chair,

carrying panino con marmellata
(Italian bread with jam)

which he had prepared.

Before the soldier could say anything,

the Holy Father, exhibiting his Argentinian smile,

told the Swiss Guard,

“With all the hours spent standing on guard,

you must be a bit hungry.”

The Swiss Guard had no time to object,

because  the Pope right away wished him a good bite.

“Bon appetit, brother.”

 May God preserve him for many years.


A very good friend sent this to me in email this morning.  It just confirms for me that Pope Francis is a kind man, compassionate to all who need comfort, help, peace.

I also believe that Pope Francis can be an instrument of peace, change and love, just like his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi. I don’t think he will have an easy time of it though.  I believe that he will and is facing opposition from within. . .

I am asking all of you to pray for Pope Francis because I have seen him embrace all religions and no religions.  For those of you who witnessed him washing the feet of the adolescent prisoners, including girls and a Muslim, we have seen what Jesus would and does do.  He continues to preach the responsiblity of all Catholics, not just ordained priests, to be a presence of Christ in our world, but that ALL of us must be out there with the people who need our care, concern, compassion and hope.

SandyO (c) June 2013 




8 thoughts on “THE NEW SHEPHERD

  1. Heart moving story!
    Pope Francis is truly a gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church.
    I’m sure that there is a lot of opposition from those that surround him and that it will only grow. May he have the strength to continue.
    Brother Andre

    • I agree Br. Andre’. . .he will need all the help he can get.

      BTW, I hope to see you for a few minutes either next Monday or Friday. . .I’d hate to think you came to Pgh and I missed seeing you.

      Safe travels and blessings

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