Just over an hour later, the 267th Successor of St. Peter has been announced by the senior cardinal deacon: It is Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, who had been serving as the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
He takes the name Francis.
In choosing a name no other pope had ever taken, Pope Francis could be signaling that he sees the need for change in the Roman Catholic church.
The name recalls two of the church’s most famous saints.
One is Francis of Assisi, the man from the Umbrian hill town who renounced a wealthy, dissolute lifestyle to found the Franciscan order of friars in 1209, embracing a life of poverty and simplicity and going out in the countryside to preach a message of joy and peace.
The other is Francis Xavier, a globe-trotting Spaniard who became one of Christianity’s greatest missionaries, and was a founding figure of the Jesuit order, of which the new pope is a member.
The crowds in St. Peter’s Square near immediately began chanting “Francesco” as they await his arrival on the central balcony for his first “urbi et orbi” blessing.
From Buenos Aires to Mexico City, Catholic faithful throughout Latin America cheered the historic election of the first pope from the region Wednesday.
About 480 million of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics live in Latin America, but no one from the region had ever been chosen to lead the church.
The new Pope, the 76-year old Argentinean Jesuit, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was Ratzinger’s main contender in the last Conclave. He is unusual in that he has always rejected posts in the Roman Curia and only visited the Vatican when it was absolutely necessary. One thing he hates to see in the clergy is “spiritual wordliness”: ecclesiastical careerism disguised as clerical refinement.
The new Pope was born in Buenos Aires and later became its archbishop. He was born to a Piedmontese family on 17 December 1936 , graduated as a technical chemist and then entered the novitiate of the Company of Jesus. He completed studies in the humanities in Chile and obtained a degree in Philosophy and Theology in Argentina. He was Professor and Rector of the Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel and vicar of the Patriarch of San José, in the Diocese of San Miguel.
In 1986 he completed a PhD in Germany, after which he returned to Argentina, where his superiors made him spiritual director and confessor in the Jesuit Church of Cordoba. In 1992 John Paul II appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires, in 1997 he became coadjutor bishop and a year later he succeeded Cardinal Antonio Quarracino for six years, until 2011, when he became President of the Bishops’ Conference of Argentina.
He doesn’t have a chauffeur and preferred to use the metro to get around Buenos Aires. In Rome he prefers to get around on foot or use public transport. Those who know him well see him as a true man of God: the first thing he always asks people to do is pray for him.
In the pre-Conclave General Congregations, the new Pope spoke of Christianity as merciful and joyful. His favourite priests are those who work in the “villas miserias”, the slums of the Argentinean capital. Instead of driving people away with rigid doctrinal preachings, he tries to look at all possible solutions in an attempt to embrace those who are the furthest from the Christian community. The Church, he insists, must show the merciful side of God.
Pope Francis: his first words
Brothers and sisters good evening.
You all know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother Cardinals have gone almost to the ends of the earth to get him… but here we are. I thank you for the welcome that has come from the diocesan community of Rome.
First of all I would like to say a prayer pray for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord will bless him and that our Lady will protect him.
Glory to the Father…
And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and the people, this journey of the Church of Rome which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood. My hope is that this journey of the Church that we begin today, together with the help of my Cardinal Vicar, may be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.
And now I would like to give the blessing. But first I want to ask you a favour. Before the Bishop blesses the people I ask that you would pray to the Lord to bless me – the prayer of the people for their Bishop. Let us say this prayer – your prayer for me – in silence.
[The Protodeacon announced that all those who received the blessing, either in person or by radio, television or by the new means of communication receive the plenary indulgence in the form established by the Church. He prayed that Almighty God protect and guard the Pope so that he may lead the Church for many years to come, and that he would grant peace to the Church throughout the world.]
[Immediately afterwards Pope Francis gave his first blessing Urbi et Orbi – To the City and to the World.]
I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.
Brothers and sisters, I am leaving you. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me and I will be with you again soon… We will see one another soon.
Tomorrow I want to go to pray to the Madonna, that she may protect Rome.
Good night and sleep well!
නව පාප් වහන්සේ ආජන්ටිනාවෙන්…….
පුරප්පාඩු වී පැවති පාප් ධුරය සදහා ඊයේ රාත්රී වතිකානුවේ පැවති නිලවරණයෙන් නව පාප් වහස්සේ ලෙස ආජන්ටිනාවේ කාදිනල් ජෝර්ජ් මාරියෝ බර්ජිලියො තේරි පත්ව ඇත. 76 හැවිරිදි වියේ පසුවන එතුමන්ගේ නම ඉදිරියේදී 1 වන ෆ්රැන්සිස්කු පාප් තුමන් ලෙස හඳුන්වනු ඇත. පාප් වහන්සේ නමක් ලතින් ඇමරිකානු රාජ්යයකින් බිහිවූ ප්රථම අවස්ථාව මෙයයි.