His motto—“Miserando Atque Eligendo” (because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose
him)—is taken from the Venerable Bede's homily on the Gospel account of
the call of Matthew. It holds special meaning for the Pope because—when
he was only 17-years-old, after going to confession on the Feast of St.
Matthew in 1953—he perceived God's mercy in his life and felt the call
to the priesthood, following the example of St. Ignatius of Loyola.