What’s in a name?

Plenty nowadays. The new pope’s choice of the name Francis is significant as St. Francis of Assisi – servant of the poor, lover of nature and now papal inspiration – was also a reformer. This signals a sea change – at least, let’s hope so.

For more on St. Francis of Assisi – “A Saint For Our Times,” as we described him – see last September’s WAG (“Class Acts”) and check out “Francis of Assisi: A New Biography” (Cornell University Press) by Augustine Thompson, O.P., whom we interviewed for our Francis profile.

Meanwhile, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is retired but remembered especially through his thoughtful writings. He’s been acclaimed for his studies of Jesus, including “Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration” (Doubleday). But I particularly like “Benedictus: Day by Day With Pope Benedict XVI” (Magnificat/Ignatius Press). Judiciously illustrated with reproductions of some of the world’s great art, both secular and religious, it’s a rich thought-for-the-day book.

The theme for the Ides of March, which happens to be today, is good for every day: “We are created to love.”

– Georgette Gouveia

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