Studies on the significance of names tell us that the name we are called by can has a powerful impact both on the way we see ourselves and the way others see us. One of the reasons the Church encourages Catholic parents to choose a saint’s name for their children is that, as Christians, our identities ought to be completely devoted to the pursuit of heaven–the ultimate prize–from the first day of our birth.
There is power in a name. It announces us, and in many cases, it may come to define us.
The ever-entertaining and insightful, Rocco Palmo offers this brilliant off-the-cuff analysis of the significance of our new Holy Father’s name.
By choosing the name of the founder of his community’s traditional rivals (ed. note: The Franciscans), the 266th Roman pontiff – the first from the American continent, home to more than half of the 1.2 billion-member church – has signaled three things: his desire to be a force of unity in a polarized fold, a heart for the poor, and his intent to “repair God’s house, which has fallen into ruin”… that is, to rebuild the church.