March 13, 2018, marks the anniversary of the Pontiff’s papacy.
Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he was elected as pope on 13 March 2013 at the age of 76. The election made him the 266th pontiff in the church’s history.
Here is how his anniversary is being celebrated across the world;
In a statement from the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the country congratulated the Pope.
It reads, “On behalf of the U. S. Government, I offer my congratulations to His Holiness Pope Francis on the fifth anniversary of his election to the See of Rome.
“Together, the U. S. and the Holy See are an extraordinary force for good as we work to advance religious freedom and human rights."
“And fight terrorism and violence, combat human trafficking, prevent the spread of diseases, and seek peaceful solutions to crises around the world.
“I join millions of Americans in congratulating the Holy Father on this anniversary and look forward to our continued work together to promote peace, freedom, and human dignity around the world.”
The former pontiff reveals his thoughts on Pope Francis’ papacy in a personal letter reportedly sent to the head of the Secretariat for Communications on March 12, 2018.
Reacting to the release of a series of books called “La Teologia di Papa Francesco (The Theology of Pope Francis)”, he writes: “I applaud this initiative."
“It contradicts the foolish prejudice of those who see Pope Francis as someone who lacks a particular theological and philosophical formation, while I would have been solely a theorist of theology with little understanding of the concrete lives of today’s Christian.”
He adds that these books “reasonably demonstrate that Pope Francis is a man with profound philosophical and theological formation and are helpful to see the interior continuity between the two pontificates, even with all the differences in style and temperament.”
Vatican News reports that a prayer campaign was arranged in honor of the Pope’s 5th anniversary.
“One for all, all for one!” is the title of the prayer chain. “I encourage you to join this prayer chain that connects bishops, priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful,” urged Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki of Poznan, the President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference.
It started on Sunday, March 11, 2018.
A new movie entitled, “Pope Francis — A Man of His Word” has been released today.
Using a direct-to-camera visual and narrative concept, the Pope gets to talk face-to-face with the viewers, as seen in the video above.
He shares his ideas on death, social justice, immigration, ecology, wealth inequality, materialism, family and general message in the film.
It was written and directed by three-time Academy Award® nominee Wim Wenders.