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A look back at the conclave that elected Pope Francis

2014-03-10

When Cardinal Bergoglio entered the Sistine Chapel on March 12, 2013, he was unaware that a mere 24 hours later, he would leave as the new Pope of the Catholic Church.

He remained calm as the papal master of ceremonies uttered the two famous words that sealed them off from the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, thousands of pilgrims packed St. Peter's Square to witness first-hand the results from the first round of voting. It came just two hours later.

"It was very exciting, but unfortunately it didn't happen today. We'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if we're lucky enough to have a new Pope.”
 
"I can't describe the feeling, the people's reactions. I think we were all confused because it seemed like white smoke. We all got excited. But it was black smoke. I think the high priests known what their doing. I think they will make a good decision.”

When black smoke emerges, many leave the Square. Others remain at St. Peter's, praying.

On Wednesday, March 13, the skies are overcast. But pilgrims continue flocking to the Square, just in case. At 11:38AM, smoke appears, but still no new Pope. Fumata nera.

Hours later, night had set in when the waiting came to an end. The chimney atop the Sistine Chapel spewed an unmistakable white smoke.

But pilgrims had to wait more than an hour to find out what had happened inside the Sistine Chapel.

Habemus Papam

POPE FRANCIS
"It seems that my brother Cardinals have gone to the ends of the earth to get one... And first of all, I would like to offer a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus, Benedict XVI. Let us pray together for him, that the Lord may bless him and that Our Lady may keep him.”

Not many had heard of him, but in a few minutes, his humility won everyone over.

"I'm speechless, but I'm very happy, and he's from the Americas, from Latin America, so happy!” / "He's the first Argentinian too, so I'm definitely very happy.”

"I'm so happy, and I hope that he brings a new sense of renewal, which the Church needs, and of course, I'm very happy that he's Argentinian.”

The rest is history. With simple, kind gestures, Pope Francis unleashed a revolution. He's the first Pope from the New World, and more importantly, he's the people's Pope.


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