AP Photos: Modesty defining feature of 5 years with pope

March 12, 2018

FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2017 file photo, Pope Francis is served gnocchetti during a lunch with several hundred poor people, at the Vatican on World Day of the Poor. When Cardinal Mario Jorge Bergoglio appeared five years ago, on March 13, 2013, at the main window of St. Peter’s Loggia in a white cassock and without solemnity greeted the chanting crowd in the square with a casual ‘buonasera’ (good evening) it was immediately apparent that Pope Francis’s style would be different, folksier than that of other popes. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, files)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — When he appeared five years ago on the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica in a white cassock and greeted the crowd with a casual “buonasera” — good evening in Italian — it was apparent that Pope Francis’ style would be different than that of his predecessors.

The Argentine Jesuit has made humility a hallmark of his pontificate.

He adopted his name after St. Francis of Assisi, Italy’s patron saint, who chose to live in poverty. Breaking with tradition, he decided to live in a two-room apartment inside the Vatican Hotel, where he often microwaves his meals, rather than the luxurious papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace.

Francis’ down-to-earth style resonates with many Catholics, though his desire to be close to the people sometimes makes his bodyguards nervous.

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