The Conclave is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, March 12 on the traditional calendar feast of Pope St. Gregory the Great. The faithful are called to pray for the conclave, that the assembled cardinals be receptive to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. What better way to do this than to remind ourselves of the glorious heritage of the office of the Papacy and some of the brilliant, wise and godly men who have occupied the Roman cathedra.
Too often, those who think poorly of the Church focus on the "bad" Popes. But one need only glance through the 2,000 year history of the papacy--stretching all the way back to the time of Jesus--to see that the good far outnumber the "bad". Here are some memes to help us focus on the outstanding virtues of some of the most noble early Popes. Let us pray to Almighty God that He sends His Holy Spirit to inspire these virtues in the man who will become the next Pontiff--the next Servant of the Servants of God.
Saint Peter, the First Pope
"Dearly beloved, think not strange the burning heat which is to try you, as if some new thing happened to you; But if you partake of the sufferings of Christ, rejoice that when his glory shall be revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you be reproached for the name of Christ, you shall be blessed: for that which is of the honor, glory, and power of God, and that which is his Spirit, resteth upon you." [First Epistle of Saint Peter, 4:12-14]Read more about St. Peter the Liber Pontificalis, an amazing early work that every Catholic should own.