New Pope's Name Honors Two Saints

New Pope's Name Honors Two Saints

Staff Report
The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis has taken the name of two Roman Catholic saints - both of them missionaries.

The Argentine pontiff is the first to adopt the name of the rich young Italian from Assisi who renounced wealth and founded the Franciscan order of friars in 1209.

During the Crusades, Francis of Assisi risked his life to meet and preach the gospel to a Muslim sultan before visiting the Holy Land.

The new pope also is paying tribute to Saint Francis Xavier, the 16th century missionary to Asia who founded the Jesuit order. Francis is the first Jesuit pope.

He celebrates his first Mass as pope in the Sistine Chapel on Thursday, and will be installed officially as pope on Tuesday, according to the Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi.