What’s in a papal moniker
2013 03 17

From: thehindu.com



When Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio took the name Francis on being elected the 267th Pope of the Catholic Church on Wednesday, the Jesuit from Buenos Aires was only following a papal tradition that began in AD 533 with Mercurius who chose the name John II.

Mercurius changed his name as he felt that his baptismal name was that of a Roman god and it would not augur well for a pope to be known by that name. Since then, all popes except Adrian 1V (1522 to 1523) and Marcellus 11 (1555) have changed their baptismal names and took the names of their predecessors, mentors or saints during their pontificate.

It’s decision tied up in history and tradition, and it has more than a little symbolic value. In papal tradition, newly elected pontiffs choose a name to identify themselves during their reigns. A papal moniker offers an early indicator of what his papacy might be like and it will reflect his own personal spirituality.

That Pope Francis has chosen a new name may signal that he wants to lead the church into a new chapter. Many see it as a tribute to St. Francis of Assisi, the 13th century saint who lived in poverty and heard a voice to “rebuild the Church.” Pope Francis being a Jesuit, the name could also be a reference to Francis Xavier, a co-founder of the Jesuits in the 16th century.

John was the most common name used by popes over the years. As many as 23 popes have taken the name. The names Gregory and Benedict have been chosen by 16 popes each. Fourteen popes have chosen the name Clement, Leo (13), Innocent (12), Pius (12), Stephen (9), Urban (8), Alexander (7), Adrian (6), Paul (6), and Martin (5), Nicholas (5) and Celestine (5). Four popes each have been known by the names Anastasius, Eugene, Sergius, and Honoriu.

The last pope to inaugurate a name was John Paul I, in 1978, who did so in honour of his two immediate predecessors, John XXIII and Paul V1.

He died 33 days later to be succeeded by John Paul II, a name taken in his honour by the Pole Karol Wojtyla.

Saint Peter the Apostle was the first pope and no pope after him had chosen the name Peter. They include even popes John X1V and Sergius 1V who had their baptismal names as Peter.

Telesphorus, Eleutherius, Zephyrinus, Eutychian, Miltiades, Hormisdas, Zosimus, Symmachus, Simplicius, and Vigilius are some most unique papal names.

Interestingly, it was the first pope Peter who remains the longest serving pope. According to the Catholic Encyclopaedia, he reigned for 35 years (Ad 32 to 67). But after that, it was Pope Pius IX (1846 to 1878) who was the longest serving pope, 31 years and seven months. Pope John Paul 11, who passed away in 2005, was the third longest serving pope: 26 years and 5 months.

Source: thehindu.com



Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Why Can’t We Publish Addresses Of New York Times Reporters?
2014 11 28
New York Times reporters Julie Bosman and Campbell Robertson published the address of Darren Wilson in the New York Times so here are their addresses. GotNews.com strenuously objects to publishing the addresses of individuals who are being targeted with death threats. GotNews.com published the address of Ebola patient Nina Pham so that people could avoid going to her Dallas apartment. But it would ...
Terrorists? Interview with Varg Vikernes and Marie Cachet
2014 11 28
Marie Cachet and Varg Vikernes are what we call commonly ordinary people. However, for motives meanly political, the Ministry of the Interior decided to abuse its power to damage them ; "there is nothing more annoying than a low man placed in high position." (Roman saying) Today, Varg risks the eviction of the French territory without valid ground. Three very ...
The Coudenhove-Kalergi Plan - The Genocide Of The People Of Europe
2014 11 28
Mass immigration is a phenomenon, the causes of which are still cleverly concealed by the system, and the multicultural propaganda is trying to falsely portray it as inevitable. With this article we intend to prove once and for all, that this is not a spontaneous phenomenon. What they want to present as an inevitable outcome of modern life, is actually ...
Starbucks Supports Pro-GMO Company
2014 11 26
Another reason why you should not go to Starbucks. Starbucks has an image of being a socially responsible, environmentally friendly company (Really?). In 2013, 95 percent of their coffee was ethically sourced, and their goal is to reach 100 percent by 2015.1 Other goals include reducing water consumption by 25 percent in their company-operated stores by 20152 and mobilizing their employees and ...
Group Polarization and the Fad of Ethno-masochism
2014 11 26
From "Group polarization: A critical review and meta-analysis". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 6 50 (6): 1141--1151 The psychology of White self hatred. Political correctness IS a mental disorder. More: Group polarization: A critical review and meta-analysis. Isenberg, Daniel J. the paper Indoctrinate U Harvard Professor Noel Ignatiev talks about how to end the White race The History of Political Correctness The Narrative: The origins of Political ...
More News »