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New pope pays hotel bill on first day

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   March 14, 2013 at 4:50 PM   |   Comments

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March 14 (UPI) -- Much has been made of the humility of the new Pope Francis, who famously eschewed the trappings of being a high-ranking church official while Archbishop of Buenos Aires, preferring to prepare his own meals and taking a city bus to work.

Now that Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio has been elevated to the papacy, he'll probably have to trade the city bus for the popemobile.

But he's not giving up on his humble ways.

Catholic faithful were pleased when he began his tenure as pope by holding a moment of silent prayer. He wore only a simple iron cross and avoided the brilliant red cape like the one Pope Benedict XVI wore when he made his first trip out to the balcony above St. Peter's Square in 2005.

Then, Thursday morning, he returned to the Roman hotel where he had been staying to pick up his luggage and pay his bill.

Francis, who is remarkable for becoming the first Jesuit elevated to the papacy, has spent much of his clerical career working for and among the poor in Argentina.

St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of Italy and the new pope's namesake, was similarly known for his devotion to poverty.

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