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Thursday, March 14, 2013

What were those seagulls doing in the chimney?

Yesterday after the announcement, I went to visit a nearby church to pray & thank God for giving us a new Pope. Then I walked towards the altar to see the image of Saint Francis. To my amaze, I was shocked to see a bird in his hand. Perhaps it really was a ‘heavenly’ sign when a seagull was seen perched on the chimney of Sistine Chapel as the world watched and waited for white smoke to billow out – a signal to the world that the cardinal electors had decided on a new Pope. 

The seagull remained for a considerable time before flying off shortly before the white smoke came through. I immediately decided to change my Facebook cover to a photo of that seagull on top of the chimney.

Then we learn that the appointed cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio had taken the name of Francis for his pontificate, after Francis of Assisi – the saint who enjoyed the company of feathered friends.

Such was his embracement of nature and creation, the humble Italian saint would refer to all of God’s creatures as “bothers and sisters”.  I googled "saint of birds", "saint with bird", "st francis", and all I saw was Saint Francis with birds. Amazing huh?

And what were the first words of the new Pope when he addressed the crowd from the Vatican balcony shortly after his election? “Brothers and sisters, good evening”. And then he went on to say: “Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.”  The brotherhood of St Francis included all of God’s creation. 

Birds are an inspiring animals that symbolize freedom and spiritual growth to people. Those whose lives have been enriched by birds sometimes say that God even performs miracles through them. 

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