The white puff of smoke emerged and ignited a firestorm of joy and wonder from St. Peter’s Square and spanning across the globe. In an instant, newsfeed on all social networks were claiming “Habemus Papam!” From the balcony, our new pope gives his first blessing and accepts the weight of a billion souls. He has been given time to weep and mourn as he has stepped aside and let the Holy Spirit take over.
To be Catholic, at the moment, is almost beyond words. From the first puff, we were collectively overwhelmed with anticipation that could not be rivaled by even the most hopeful child on Christmas morning. And, now, we prepare to fall in love with the heir to St. Peter’s throne.
“And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,* and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.* Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
As the doors to the balcony were opened, the much anticipated words Habemus Papam were proclaimed to all below in St. Peter’s Square. Then the doors closed. We waited to see who would emerge. And then we knew. The giddiness turned to excitement as then Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio was presented to the world as the first pope of the New World, Pope Francis.
Who exactly is Pope Francis?
Born: December 17, 1939
Ordained: December 13, 1969 for the Jesuits during his theological studies at the Theological Faculty of San Miguel.
- Congregations: for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments; for the Clergy; for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life ;
- Pontifical Council for the Family;
- Pontifical Commission for Latin America.
- he lost a lung as a young child
- his father was an Italian immigrant railway worker from the area around Turin and emigrated to Argentina
- Pope Francis was a runner up in the 2005 conclave
- he has four brothers and sisters
- he originally wanted to be a chemist, but in 1958 entered the Society of Jesus
- Jesuits are generally discouraged from receiving ecclesiastical honors and advancements, making his rise to Pope all the more interesting
- he is unapologetically orthodox when it comes to teachings on sexual morality
- some cardinals candidly admitted in 2005 conclave that he lacked “fire in the belly” that was needed to lead universal Church.
- he is seen as a successful evangelist
- he lives simply, cooking his own meals and taking a bus rather than a chauffeured limousine
- Sistine Chapel smoke recipe: Blacksmoke made with potassium perchlorate, anthracene, and sulphur. White from potassium chlorate, lactose, and rosin, Vatican says.
- upon acceptance of being named pope, he spent time in Adoration in the Room of Tears
- he first asked for a blessing from the faithful before giving his blessing
- the first official Pope Francis Pontifex tweet was “HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM”
- Vatican confirms pope’s choice of name is for Francis of Assisi
- announcement of new pope breaks Twitter all-time record citing 130 MILLION tweets per minute just after announcement, shattering presidential inauguration and Olympics. ::source FoxNews Neil Cavuto:: ETA – it has since been corrected to 130 THOUSAND tweets per minute.
Visit the vatican’s website to hear the transcript of Pope Francis’ first words.
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Where were you when you saw the white smoke?
How did you feel?
How did you feel when the new pope was announced?