Papal poetry on the anniversary of the pope’s election

One year ago when Pope Francis was elected, I launched a poetry contest. I even offered to award a box of noodles to the winner.

I pitched this limerick to start the poetry slam:

So who is this new pope, Pope Francis?
He cooks for himself and he dances.
Therese is one of his faves,
As a meek heart he craves,
While our love for our faith he advances.

(CNS photo/Paul Haring)

I always assume everyone loves writing poetry, so I was surprised when we had only one contestant for the contest, my sister Treasa. She made up for it by offering three submissions:

There was this very heartfelt verse:

When Benedict the sixteenth resigned
We wondered, “Will they ever find
Another one who
Can fill up his shoe
And lead our Church with heart and with mind?”

Then this was more of a historic snapshot:

But from hot Argentina there came
A cardinal, Jorge by name,
Much loved by his flock,
And with faith like a rock
And a love for the sick, poor, and lame.

And then this was more of a reflective piece:

Though Pope Francis was unknown at the start
In no time he has won the world’s heart.
We just can’t get enough
Of this pope who can stuff
Calamari and spreads joy by the quart.

One year later I was rereading these and realized I never gave Treasa a pasta prize, so I will take care of that this weekend.

So much has happened in a year that has been worthy of both prose and poetry in honor of Pope Francis. But there’s so much written in prose about Pope Francis, and rarely does anyone institute a successful papal poetry slam.

Just to clarify, Leo will tell you this is not the real pope.
So shall we try again? I’ll go first:

Oh, Pope Francis, you’re humble and wise,
But it’s your love that brings tears to our eyes.
Your finding God in all things
Gives our faith stronger wings.
This past year? What a lovely surprise!

Naturally your papal poem will be even better. Send it to me at, or submit it in the comments by April 1. I promise to send the winner a box of pasta, and in a timely way.

Catholic Review

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