The men chosen by Christ to be his vicar carry their weighty responsibility on human shoulders.
They are beautiful images that reflect the humanity of the man chosen by Christ to be his representative in the year ahead, and the grace of the Spirit that accompanies him.
Jesus surrounded himself with disciples, charging 12 of them with a special role. But it was Simon alone that he named Peter, the “rock” of his Church. He instituted him shepherd of the whole flock, his Vicar on earth.
The pope, Bishop of Rome, is Peter’s Successor. Pope Francis is the 266th successor of the Apostle Peter, Christ’s vicar for our day.
The 266 men who have occupied the Throne of Peter each have come to the office with their own human characteristics and failings, their strengths and weaknesses. They carry their weighty responsibility on human shoulders, upheld by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
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