The New Pope Francis I, addresses a crowd of thousands in Vatican City March 13.
New Pope Francis I, Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, addressed a crowd of tens of thousands from a balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, after his election March 13.
Francis is the first non-European to become pope. His first remarks reflected this historic choice.
“Brothers and sisters, good evening. You know that the task of the conclave was to give Rome a bishop. It seems my brother cardinals went almost to the ends of the earth to find one.”
He then asked the crowd to pray for pope emeritus Benedict XVI.
“Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord bless him and that the Mother of God protect him.”
Pope Francis spoke of the magnitude of the journey before him.
“Now let’s begin this journey, bishop and people, this journey of the church of Rome, which is the one that presides in charity over all the churches , a journey of brotherhood, love and trust among us. Let us pray for one another.”
He prayed for unity and for the spread of the Catholic faith.
“Let us pray for the whole world that there be a great brotherhood. I hope this journey of the church that we begin today—and I will be helped by my cardinal vicar, here present—will be fruitful for the evangelization of this so beautiful city.”
Traditionally a newly elected pope will bless the people who come to welcome him. Francis also asked the people to bless and pray for him.
“Now I would like to give my blessing. But first, I will ask a favor. Before the bishop blesses his people, he asks that you pray to the Lord to bless me, the prayer of the people for the blessing of their bishop. Let’s pray for me in silence.”
He then gave his blessing “to the city and the world,” and bid the crowd a good night.
“Brothers and sisters, I’ll leave you. Thank you so much for the welcome. Pray for me. We’ll see each other soon. Tomorrow I want to go to pray to Mary so she would watch over all of Rome. Good night. Have a good rest.”
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