A Pope Of Christmas Past – When Francis of Assisi Met Pope Innocent III

December 23, 2013 — Leave a comment
Cover December 2013

Cover December 2013

Pope Francis received TIME Magazine’s honor of “Person Of The Year” for 2013.  It has been a media circus for the last several weeks. With his sense of kindness and compassion, in less than one short year, Pope Francis has brought new life into what seemed to be a dead papacy. He seems to be  doing it simply by demonstrating kindness, always.

When Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Cardinal from Argentina, became Pope in March of this year, he took the name “Pope Francis”, in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi . Francis was known for his humility and compassion.

Back in 1971, Franco Zeffirelli, made a motion picture of the life and times of Francis of Assisi – Brother Sun, Sister Moon. I have always found the sequence below to be quite moving. As a mark of his humility, Francis of Assisi refused to wear shoes or sandals. Even when visiting the Vatican, he  came barefoot, remaining true to his mission imbued with humility.

In this sequence, Francis meets  Pope Innocent  III for the first time. The pope is played by Sir Alec Guinness in a campy, but moving performance. In the sequence, the Pope undergoes a  complete transformation in the visit from the humble monk.

The sequence is in its entirety. It is worth watching although it is significantly over the preferred  YouTube 90 second limit.  It is sixteen minutes! That said, it IS  Christmastime, and perhaps there’s a short time somewhere for  a chunk of viewing.

It strikes me that  what happens to Pope Innocent III here  is  similar to what  is occurring in today’s papacy – a positive transformation  through the power of love.

Brother sun, Sister Moon  was released in 1972. The picture stars Faulkner Graham as Francesco (Francis) of Assisi and Sir Alec Guinness as Pope Innocent III.Copyright to this film is with Paramount Pictures. It appears on this website  because of the educational provision outlined in section 107 of copyright law.
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