Rome's mayor 'touched' by Pope's simplicity

Pope Francis rides through St Peters Square on March 19 2013 before his Papal Inauguration Mass Credit Jeffrey Bruno CNA CNA 3 19 13 Pope Francis rides through St. Peter's Square on March 19, 2013 before his Papal Inauguration Mass. | Jeffrey Bruno/CNA.

The mayor of Rome said that the simple humility of Pope Francis "really touched" his heart after the Mass that officially began the Petrine ministry.

"He is a beautiful example, and I really believe this is the right Pope for this time because there is so much crisis and people need hope," said the mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, at Saint Peter's Square.

The mayor also said the Pope inspired him to "reflect on being more simple and paying more attention to people."

"I feel very happy because Pope Francis is truly a person that is immediately endearing," he told CNA on March 19.

He noted that it is "beautiful to listen to him" and that the Mass had been "wonderful and astonishing."

"We weren't expecting this kind of Pope because we had no idea who he was when his name was announced," said the mayor.

"I'm also happy that it's been a beautiful morning and that there haven't been any problems," he added.

Following the Mass, several Argentinians gathered in front of Saint Peter's Square, waving their flag and cheering for the Holy Father.

"He is a light of hope for all Catholics and I hope he'll be able to manage the Church which isn't an easy job," said Nicolás Lázaro, who converted to Catholicism eight years ago.

"His constant 'pray for me' petition has really touched me," added the 28-year-old.

Another Argentinian, who was drinking the country's traditional 'mate' tea at the square, said he was very excited.

"I've only seen two people become Popes and the first time it was on television," said Juan Cruz Urbano.

"He transmits a different type of humility than our last pontiff because of his personality and there is a lot of hope," explained Urbano, who is from Escobar, Argentina.

Colombian Monsignor Umberto González said the Pope's message today on protecting people and creation was "an extraordinary gift."

"He has really touched my heart because he is a man that speaks with simplicity but with depth," said Msgr. González.

"His words show his humanity, his goodness and his love for God," he observed.

According to the Colombian, Pope Francis has not only shown himself to be a fatherly figure, but also a brother.

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"We've seen that Europe has given Latin America many things, and now it's Latin America that is giving to Europe and the whole world," said Msgr. González.

He reflected that Latin Americans can therefore embrace the Pope with pride, "but also with a commitment to the whole world."

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