Pope Francis, Father's Day In Italy & Two Biblical Josephs

Pope Francis
March 13, 2013

A Disdain for Coverage Overdose
I'm not one to watch continuous coverage of big events going on in the world.  The constant and ridiculously wide array of viewpoints, speculation, theorizing, and analyzing can give me a headache.  I prefer to check in for a snippet now and then and then get the full report when all is said and done.

Flipping on the TV
In the midst of my busy day, last Wednesday, March 13, I did decide to take a break, sit down with my son Noah, and check in on EWTN.  It was clear that smoke from the Sistine Chapel was expected within minutes, so we decided to watch for a bit longer.  I felt soooooo privileged when the smoke was white!  That I "just happened" to tune in at that time!  I then did keep watching, eager to see my new religious leader!

My First Reaction to Pope Francis
It took about an hour, but when our new Pope was brought out to the balcony, I felt uncertain ... he looked a bit hesitant and unsure to me.  His one-handed wave almost seemed to lack joy.  He almost looked like he'd rather be home reading a book.  For some reason, though, I did notice and felt a certain happiness over the fact that he was wearing the plain white cassock.

My Second ... and Better ... Reaction to Pope Francis
Shortly after the looooooong cheers of welcome died down, when Pope Francis asked for the people to pray for him and then meekly bowed down before the whole world, hoping for prayers for his new and enormous duties, I knew that his seemingly uneasiness might very well have been a genuine humility instead.  I began to love this Pope.

Pope - A Nickname for "Father" & The Feast of the Patron Saint of Fathers
The word Pope is related to the word Papa.  It is simply an endearing term for Father.  I find it wonderful and a beautiful timing that his inaugural mass date is landing so nicely on the feast of the patron saint of fathers ... St. Joseph.  Just how perfect is that!?!?!?

Father's Day in Italy  is on March 19 - The Feast of St. Joseph
Plus ... In Italy, Father's Day is celebrated on March 19 - The Feast of St. Joseph.  So, the inaugural  mass of Pope Francis in Italy (o.k. ... in the Vatican City State, but close enough) is on the Italian Father's Day.  This all feels good to me!

A Fun Coincidence
By the way, the Jesuit (as most already know, Pope Francis is a Jesuit) logo is very similar to the "Year of Faith" logo.  They both include the IHS symbol (a Greek-derived trigram for the name of Jesus) with a cross and circular symbol representing a consecrated host.  IHS has also been used as an acronym for the Latin words: Iesus Hominum Salvator (Jesus, Savior of man).   Almost feels prophetic.  The Year of Faith that began with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will conclude with a Jesuit Pope.


Year of Faith Logo

The Chosen Name of Francis
I shouldn't even get started here.  St. Francis of Assisi is a favorite of mine - I went to a Franciscan University, have been to Assisi twice, and have read some great books on St. Francis ... writings that make me feel startled and unsettled when I put them down and am compelled to merge back into frenetic American society.  A Jesuit choosing the name of the original Franciscan saint ... what a blend ... I love it!  Maybe someday we'll have a Franciscan Pope who will choose the name Ignatius (the founder of the Jesuits).  That would be fun too.

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Below is the original draft for my post today.  With the inauguration mass of Pope Francis today, however, this feels a bit secondary.  But, it is St. Joseph's Day - so I don't want to put it on hold and so am adding it anyways:

An Old Testament Joseph and A New Testament Joseph ... and Their Dreams

Joseph's Dream Of Wheat
by Owen Jones (1809 - 1874)

An Angel Appearing To St. Joseph In A Dream
by Gaetano Gandolfi (circa 1790)

I don’t typically remember my dreams.  They seem to slip away as I wake up.  Sometimes I do recall them, but they are often so weird and confusing.  But, once in a great while, I have rather clear dreams that stick with me and sometimes seem to have a strong connection to my life.  I love those sorts of dreams, for they feel like messages from heaven.

In honor or the feast of St. Joseph today (March 19), the foster father of Jesus, I decided to chart out the dreams by the two dreaming Josephs in the Bible:  

Dreams Of The Old Testament Joseph  

“There we were, binding sheaves in the field, when suddenly my sheaf rose to an upright position, and your sheaves formed a ring around my sheaf and bowed down to it.”

~ Genesis 37:7

“I had another dream,” he said; “this time, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

~ Genesis 37:9 

Dreams Of The New Testament Joseph
… behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him (Joseph) in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.  For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.  She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

~ Matthew 1:20-21

… behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you.  Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”

~ Matthew 2:13

… behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.

~ Matthew 2:19-20

And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee.

~ Matthew 2:22b