In first full day, pope wins praise for humility

Pope Francis has spent his first full day as leader of the Roman Catholic Church, showing the same humility that has been winning praise from believers the world over.

The pontiff celebrated Mass at the Sistine Chapel, with the cardinals who elected him.

“Walk, our life is a journey, and when we stop the thing doesn’t work. Let’s walk, always, in the presence of the Lord, in the light of the Lord, trying to live with the same irreproachable attitude that God asks Abraham in his promise,” he said.

In Vatican City, there was also less glamorous business to take care of.

“He asked the guards to take him back to the hotel where he had been staying because he had all his luggage there, and he wanted to pay the bill,” Mendoza said.

Through it all, Pope Francis was dressed simply – by design.

“His vestments were very simple, without the famous mozzetta, the red cape. The cross he is wearing is the same he had before as a bishop, very simple, and then the things he said and did do not need to be repeated. We were impressed by this pastoral approach,” said the Rev. Frederico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman.

Also on his schedule, a visit with his predecessor, Benedict. “I think it is extremely significant that he is visiting Pope Emeritus Benedict because it shows his great humility. It shows the respect and esteem with which we all hold Benedict,” said Kim Daniels, director of Catholic Voices.

In Argentina, where Pope Francis served as archbishop, many Catholics awoke with high hopes.”I think he is going to be more open and very close to those in need, to the poor. And I hope he has the necessary strength because it’s very important,” said Andrea Giudici.

In Nigeria, Hannatu Uche said she couldn’t be happier. “We are all happy, right from last night that the announcement was made, we are very grateful to God that there was no crisis, no problem and the election was made. To God be the glory,” she said.

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