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Popularity of Pope Francis revives interest in his saintly namesake

Cotter Church Supplies - 1

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

A portrait of Pope Francis is for sale at Cotter Church Supplies Inc. in Westlake on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. Many local churches buy the large portraits to display in their lobbies.

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Maya Sugarman/KPCC

A St. Francis candlestick is on display at Cotter Church Supplies Inc. in Westlake on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. Pope Francis chose to name himself after St. Francis, who is known for getting rid of all his possessions and helping the poor.

Cotter Church Supplies - 4

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Customer Jenny Mueller, a shopper for television set decorations for "Scandal," shops for items to be used in a Church set. Mueller, who is religious but not part of a denomination, likes Pope Francis because she believes he's rekindling the spirit of what it is to be religious.

Cotter Church Supplies - 6

Maya Sugarman/KPCC

A St. Francis statue depicts the saint with a wolf. The popularity of St. Francis figurines and other related memorabilia have become increasingly popular because of Pope Francis, who named himself after the saint.

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Maya Sugarman/KPCC

A customer shops at Cotter Church Supplies Inc. on Wednesday March 12, 2014. About 60 percent of the store's business comes from churches, with 40 percent coming from laity.

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Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Co-owner Mike Cotter helps a customer over the phone with an order. The store is one of the only sources where churches can buy high volumes of wine and hosts (sacramental bread).

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Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Books related to Pope Francis are for sale inside Cotter Church Supplies Inc. in Westlake on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

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Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Cotter Church Supplies Inc. employee Tessie Omana looks for a book to fill an order for the VA Hospital on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

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Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Co-owner Pat Cotter moves boxes out onto the floor at Cotter Church Supplies Inc. on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.


It's been a year since Pope Francis took leadership of the Roman Catholic Church, and in the year since, he's won over Catholics and non-Catholics alike with his down-to-earth demeanor.

KPCC's Leslie Berestein Rojas takes stock of the "Pope Francis effect" during a visit to a local store that sells Catholic religious supplies.

RELATED: Check out more photos inside California's largest church supply store on KPCC's AudioVision.


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