Lifestyle & Belief

Argentine town near Buenos Aires renames street 'Papa Francisco,' or 'Pope Francis'


VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 24: A woman holds an olive branch as crowds gather to watch Pope Francis delivers his blessing to the palms and to the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square during Palm Sunday Mass on March 24, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican.


Dan Kitwood

An Argentine city has reportedly become the first to rename a street in honor of Pope Francis.

A section of Avenue 53 leading to the cathedral in La Plata, 40 miles south of Buenos Aires, has been renamed "Papa Francisco" to mark the election of Argentine-born Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to the head of the Catholic Church.

The mayor of La Plata — population 800,000 — Pablo Bruera, said:

"Residents of La Plata have been moved by the historic selection of the new pope, and we're proud to pay tribute to him in this way. This is an expression of the faithfulness and affection expressed spontaneously by the people of the city." 

He added:

"We received many suggestions for places to be baptized in his name, but we chose this site because it is symbolic of the cathedral."

According to the Australian Associated Press, several other towns and cities across Argentina have proposed renaming streets after Francis.

And the Vatican has approached Buenos Aires municipal legislature about renaming two streets in the Flores neighborhood where Bergoglio was born.

There is also the suggestion that the public school where he studied should be given his name.