Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Just moments after being elected, the new Pope of the Catholic Church, Francis I, gave his first Papal 'Urbi et Orbi' blessing as he stood on the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square.
Francis I said that during the conclave the papal electors wanted someone from farther away but with the qualities of Benedict XVI. Before imparting his blessing, the new Pope asked the people to pray for him and his task ahead.
The new leader of the Catholic Church also said a few words to the thousands of people who came out to greet him. Giving a short improvised speech, was actually a tradition that John Paul I began when he was elected.
- Pope Francis began his first words to the Church by saying that the cardinals “went to the end of the world” to find the new Bishop of Rome.
“Brothers and Sisters, good evening. You know that the charge of the conclave was to give a bishop of Rome.
“It would seem that my brothers went to the end of the world to choose him,” he said March 13 from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Pope then called on the crowd of tens of thousands to pray for “our Bishop Emeritus Benedict.”
“This way of the Church that we commence on,” he said, is one of “an evangelization in this beautiful city.”
Before he closed his remarks, Pope Francis asked the crowd for the favor of praying for him in silence before he gave his blessing.
He then bowed at the waist as silence settled over St. Peter’s Square.
The Pope blessed the throng of people, saying, “I give my blessing to you and all people of good will in the world.”
“I’m going to say goodbye now, thank you so much for your welcome.
I say good night “because tomorrow I want to go and pray to Mary for her protection.”
A marching band playing and the bells of St. Peter’s ringing in the night followed Pope Francis’ first words.