The International Kitchen Blog: New Pope Names Himself After St. Francis of Assisi
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New Pope Names Himself After St. Francis of Assisi

Next March 18, 2013 Previous

Never before has a pope named himself Francis, but that changed when Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen as the next Catholic pope. A Vatican spokesman has now confirmed that Jorge named himself after the saint of Assisi, rather than the 16th-century Jesuit missionary. You can learn more about the original St. Francis, known for his ministry to the poor, during a culinary trip to Umbria and a visit to the charming Umbrian city of Assisi.

St. Francis of Assisi tourCNN Vatican expert John Allen says, St. Francis of Assisi's name symbolizes "poverty, humility, simplicity, and rebuilding the Catholic church. The new pope is sending a signal that this will not be business as usual."

As for Francis of the 1200s, his religious conversion occurred as he prayed in a chapel near his birthplace city of Assisi. He is known for sacrificing all of his possessions, taking a vow of poverty, and founding the Franciscan order of the Friars Minor.

A Culinary Adventure in UmbriaDuring a handful of our Umbria cooking vacations, take a tour of Assisi, visit a number of stunning churches -- including the Basilica di San Francesco, which houses a variety of sacred relics and frescoes from the saint's lifetime, and discover why the city has been a major pilgrimage destination for centuries.

Our vacations that include a visit to this stunning city include "A Culinary Adventure in Umbria" (with a guide), "Cooking in a Luxury Country Resort," and "Cooking and Vineyards of Southern Tuscany."

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