April 8, 2013. (Romereports.com) Twenty six days after being elected, Pope Francis visited the Basilica of St. John Lateran, to celebrate his 'installation' Mass as the bishop of Rome.
Thousands of people gathered outside to catch a glimpse. The Pope greeted them, as he made his way in a jeep. He then inaugurated the John Paul II Square, by unveiling a white stone with the name of the Polish Pope. Also there, was Rome's mayor, Gianni Alemanno.
At the entrance, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, who serves as the Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, welcomed the Pope. He kissed the crucifix and blessed the Basilica with Holy Water. As he made his way to the altar, he stopped along the way to bless and greet the sick.
Since the day marked the second Sunday of Easter, during his homily, the Pope spoke about God's patience.
“This is God's way: He's not impatient like us, who often want things immediately, and from people too. God is patient with us because He loves us. The person who loves, understands, waits, inspires confidence. That person doesn't abandon or burn bridges. That person forgives.”
Given that it was the Feast Day of Divine Mercy, the Pope talked about personally witnessing mercy in his life and that of others.
“In my personal life, I've seen the merciful face of God and His patience so many times. I've also seen many people who couragelously go to Jesus' wounds and say: 'Lord, here I am. Accept my poverty. Cover my sins with your wounds, clean them with your blood.' I've seen how God welcome them, consoles them, cleans them and loves them.”
After his installation Mass, the Pope opened the Basilica's Papal apartment, which had been closed off since February 28th, when Benedict XVI resigned. So with this ceremony, Pope Francis officially takes on his title as the Bishop of Rome.