Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Papal Names. My kids have been interested by the fact that the new pope gets a new name. I point out that there's a biblical tradition for that, which Sarai and Abram becoming Sarah and Abraham, Saul becoming Paul, Jacob becoming Israel and so on.

My mother doesn't like the name Benedict, I'm not sure why. All my life, the pope has either had the name of John or Paul or both. This is the case for anyone born after October 28, 1958. Interestingly, for anyone born between February 6, 1922 and October 28, 1958, only one name is added, that of Pius. (Pius XI and XII). The prior pope, who's reign was from 3 Sepember 1914 to 22 January 1922, was . . . Benedict. Stretch back to August 4, 1903 and you find another Pius.

Therefore, there are just four names for popes for the past century: Pius, Benedict, John and Paul.

Leo XIII reigned prior to this from 20 February 1878 to 20 July 1903. (And preceding him, another Pius).

The best name never picked for a Pope? Francis. (Read the Vicar of Christ, one of the greatest novels ever written for an explanation...)

No comments:

Post a Comment