“Preach the Gospel and, if necessary, even with words.”
This was what St. Francis of Assisi always recommended to his friars. After all, it is a known fact that the beloved saint had been a strong advocate of living a modest and humble lifestyle. (Read: 10 Things Pope Francis and Saint Francis Share in Common)
Today, this phrase has also become a guide and lifestyle choice for Jorge Mario Bergoglio—known by many as Pope Francis. In fact, from the very first day of his pontificate, Pope Francis has already embodied a “poor Church for the poor,” and his prominent position and stature has not in the least affected his choices.
Today, My Pope Philippines takes a closer look at the Pope’s humble lifestyle through the clothes and items he wears—and hopefully, we can inspire you to do the same!
Sustainable Fashion ala Pope Francis: Simple Watch
Countless valuables as well as expensive watches have been presented to all the pontiffs in the past. But even if he is the Pope, Lolo Kiko has chosen to wear a black plastic watch, a simple Swatch that many regular people possess. (Read: 5 Times Pope Francis Championed Sustainable Living)
One famous anecdote is that when the strap of his watch broke, the Santo Papa went to have it repaired. But someone pointed out that it would cost less to buy a new watch. Realizing this, Pope Francis decided to get a new timepiece to save money!
Sustainable Fashion ala Pope Francis: No to Freebies!
Another object, another anecdote: In this case, it is from the Pope’s trusted optician, Alessandro Spiezia. When one of the lenses of Lolo Kiko’s glasses broke, the optician offered to give him a new pair (especially since he could tell that the glasses were worn out from use). The Pope thanked Alessandro, but still showed up to pay for his new glasses in person!
He paid 5 euros (about P285) for this purchase. The same thing happened when he purchased new glasses due to a change in his grade. The Holy Father showed up to pay for them—just like any other regular customer.
Sustainable Fashion ala Pope Francis: Basic Shoes
Those who expect Pope Francis to change his shoes regularly will be disappointed. He continues to wear the same simple black ones he has always worn, even with sciatica problems caused by the compression of the spinal nerve. (Read: 4 Reasons Why Bamboo Textile Is Your New Fashion Staple)
Sustainable Fashion ala Pope Francis: Practical Clothes
Years have not changed the Pope’s style. He continues to wear the usual black trousers under his cassock. Although many of us feel nostalgic and miss the traditional white papal trousers, we can respect Lolo Kiko’s choice to stay practical.
Sustainable Fashion ala Pope Francis: Humble Ring and Cross
Even his accessories did not get an upgrade when he went from archbishop to Pope. His ring is very simple: it’s silver and engraved with a cross, which Lolo Kiko has been wearing since he was bishop. (Read: These Fashion Idols Are Saving Earth—One ‘Ukay’ Find at a Time!)
After the election, as is customary, he chose the piscatory ring of the pontiffs. Naturally, he chose a simple one, not one that was gold, but a ring in gilded silver. It wasn’t even made specifically for him, but designed for Paul VI. He wore it in the early days of the pontificate, but eventually preferred to return to his old episcopal ring.
The Pope’s pectoral cross is also the one he wore on the evening of the election. He holds on to it because it was given to him by a priest when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. The Good Shepherd is engraved on it, a symbol so dear to Jorge that he decided to continue carrying it even after he was elected Pope.