Viva il Papa Francesco!

It’s called Domus Sancta Marta, the Latin for Saint Martha’s House, and it’s been my home the last forty-eight hours here in the Vatican, along with 114 of my brother cardinals.

You remember St. Martha, don’t you?  She, along with her sister, Mary, and her brother, Lazarus, were among our Lord’s best friends, and he often enjoyed their company and hospitality at their home right outside of Jerusalem.

I do not exaggerate when I tell you that Jesus still lives here in this house dedicated to His friend, St. Martha. He has been here in our fraternity, our prayer, our laughter, our conversations, our meals, our shared faith, our mutual love for His bride, His Church, and now in our rejoicing with our new Holy Father, Pope Francis, who left this morning, and will move into the apostolic apartments.

As one of my brother Cardinals remarked, “We talk to each other with our different languages; we all speak to Jesus in the same voice.”

We came to St, Martha’s right after the magnificent Mass to Elect a Pontiff  in St. Peter’s Basilica, on Tuesday morning.  Each afternoon, and each morning, we took a little bus the quarter-mile distance to the Courtyard of Saint Damaso — — I’d prefer to walk, but it’s been rainy and damp — — there to disembark and walk into the Sistine Chapel for our duty as cardinal-electors.

The gardens and corridors of the Vatican were eerily empty.  After all, the pope was no longer there.  We “got the place to ourselves.”  I always dreamed of spending some uninterrupted hours looking upon the walls and ceilings of the celebrated Sistine Chapel.  Never did I think I’d be doing it this way!

One of the older cardinals, who went through the conclave of 2005, assured me I would sense the presence of the Holy Spirit in all of this.  He was right.  No, not in any brilliant rays of light, sound of wind, or tongues of fire, but in common and private prayer, oaths taken, words of inspiration, information, and encouragement exchanged, art and song working their charm, promptings sensed, and discernment going on.

And now the world knows the result of all this, as we have cheered the announcement, “We have a pope!”

It was all worth it.  It is His (Jesus’) Church —- not mine, not the cardinal’s, not the Vatican’s, not ours, not even Pope Francis’ —- it is His Church! And upon the rock of Peter’s (and his successor’s) faith, He will build His Church.

Viva il Papa Francesco!

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12 Responses to “Viva il Papa Francesco!”

  1. Patricia Molitor says:

    I’m from Milwaukee and met you, Cardinal, when you first came around to the churches. I so wanted to see you as pope, but am overjoyed that we now have Pope Francis. What a beautiful, humble, saintly man.

    Thank you for your wonderful smile and great sense of humor.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day to a good Irishman!!!

  2. victor duarte says:

    Your Eminence, Thank you for all your work on behalf of the Church.

  3. Reggie says:

    God bless you all Cardinal Dolan,

    I just cannot help feeling emotionally and spiritually moved by what we all went through the past days as you were inspired to elect our dear Pope Francis (thanks to EWTN and Catholic answers live radio). You had a lot of prayers being thrown at you from all over the world!
    We need someone like Pope Francis in the world of today, especially the Western world. I come from Malta, a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean which is supposed to be 98% Catholic but trust me, I do not believe we have much more than 45% true Catholics left. I tire of reading the sarcastic and derisive comments on our local English e-newspaper whenever the Church or the Pope are mentioned. However there are also a lot of nice comments and people of good intention intention in our island so I have a lot of hope for our beautiful Catholic Church that Jesus built …. and I am hopeful for the future because in spite of the assured totalitarian and intollerant attacks by a secularist world we will have to face in the future, especially around our family institution and culture of death in the name of ‘equality’, we have Jesus’s promise that He is with us till the end of time.
    Let us make heart! He has conquered the world!
    God bless your work.

  4. MaryMargaret says:

    Cardinal Dolan, I love you! Not just because you are from my mother’s state (God love her) but because you show a joyful face for the faith. I agree..Viva il papa! Francesco is an amazing name. May God pour out his graces on our new holy father.

  5. Tom Perna says:

    Your Eminence – such wonderful words to hear from you. It’s been great hearing about your experience in Rome. You are in my prayers.

  6. Michael says:

    Exciting! Thank you Your Emminence. I believe that the Holy Spirit was present with the Cardinals in electing the first Holy Father from ‘Ecclesia in America’…Our Lady of Guadalupe pray for us!

  7. Jason Butler says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I have goose bumps from reading this article. The Holy Spirit is amazing! My family is excited to pray for Pope Francis today at Mass, that being said, I better go get ready.

    God Bless and Go 4th!

  8. Maria says:

    I’m curious, did any of the cardinals and the new elected pope hear the crowds cheering when the white smoke came out?
    I was at my sister’s house in Colorado and we screamed and jumped for joy, her kids screamed and jumped for joy and took pictures in their celphones, even the dog went nuts barking. I thougth the neighbors might call the police we were screaming so loud!

  9. Miguel says:

    Thank you for your blog and all your actions of communication and transparency which I consider so important for the Church. I hope and wish that Pope Francis have the strength and will to conduct the Church in the years to come in a spirit of simplicity and to reform all that might need reformation. Greetings from Spain. God bless you !

  10. Gina Lepore says:

    Hello Cardinal Dolan,
    Thank you for your holy, yet, so joyful ways. You have brought so many special gifts to the Churches and it’s people all over the World. The Election of Pope Francis 1 has been a very spiritual and moving experience for so many people, global. All your daily insights during this journey made it a special one for everyone. Much gratitude to you for holding us so close to your heart!!
    God Bless you!

  11. David Marzek says:

    Thank God for heeding the lessons of Dante. The religious and state powers have been kept seperate. Thank God that the conclave did not elect a Pope from the Anglo-American empire, especially one that would have taken his orders from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Thank God we now have a Pope who is fully aligned with the voice and needs of the poor and one who walks with no fear.

  12. Buongiorno Cardinale Dolan , sono lo scultore di Don Franco Mamoli della Sua parrocchia NOSTRA SIGNORA DI GUADALUPE a monte mario a Roma ,conservo un magnifico ricordo della Sua visita che ha onorato la nostra parrocchia e ha fatto impazzire di gioia tutti i parrocchiani per l’amore e la simpatia trasmessa con la Sua omelia durante la Santa Messa ,le devo confessare che pur ringraziando il Signore per l’elezione di Papa Francesco , sicuramente indicato dallo Spirito Santo , noi tutti di monte mario abbiamo fatto il tifo per Lei , spero non sia peccato . Nell’augurarci di averla di nuovo molto presto tra di noi , La saluto . ITALO CELLI