(Vatican Radio) Assisi of course is home to a large Franciscan family, all of whom worked hard together to organize the eventful day and welcome the Pope in the best possible way.
Amongst them, Franciscan Conventual Friar Charles Baldacchino, vice rector at the seminary and bursar at the Convent of the Friars Minor at the Basilica of St. Francis.
Just days before the Pope’s arrival, he told Vatican Radio’s Linda Bordoni that having chosen the name Francis, since the beginning of his Pontificate the Pope “is making us experience what it means to be Francis…".
He begins by talking of his life as a Conventual in Assisi...
Listen to the interview…
Father Baldacchino speaks of life as a Franciscan Friar in Assisi, he says it is an experience which is hard to explain: “Living where Francis lived and being near the rests of your father” is something special.
He speaks of life in the Convent which is home to some 70 Franciscans, each of whom has a role. He describes it as “family life”.
Recalling the moment in which he discovered that Cardinal Bergoglio, the newly elected Pope, had chosen the name Francis, he says: “of course for us it is something special that he took the name of our father”. Ever since “he is making us experience what it means to be Francis”. He is putting emphasis on what it means to be close to those who are in need.
Pope Francis – Father Baldacchino says - has a message to give us: “being here, in the land and in the city Francis, preaching and living the same Gospel that Francis preached. He has said he wants to show us how to live in poverty… the way he preaches, the way he presents his teachings in a way that is so simple and so profound.
“I hope that this coming of Francis will bring a change of hearts – to myself – to my brothers and sisters who work here in Assisi – and I hope that this visit and his way of tackling things will bring a change to all mankind. Because we will be observed from far – there will be many reporters – and we are praying that this visit will make a change in mankind”.
2013-10-04 Vatican Radio