March 13, 2013. (Romereports.com)
Thousands of people defied the cold and rain to gather at St. Peter's
Square, where they witnessed first hand the moment black smoke
out of the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel.
It was 7:41 in the evening, local time in Rome
, when the dark smoke appeared. It quashed any doubts about the results of the first vote, the cardinals are not yet in agreement.
Many of the pilgrims had planned the trip in advance and coincidentally ended up in Rome for the conclave. Others decided to come to Rome specifically because of the importance of this historic event.
“I'm here to see the smoke if is black or white and then to pray for the new Pope.” “I don´t know because I thought the smoke was black because is the first time. Well I think that soon will have a white smoke. Maybe tomorrow, or the day after.”
“I was here for the last election. And the smoke this time was perfect. Last time it was very little smoke and white and gray. You can tell what color. This time is plain black smoke.”
And as the Conclave continues, these pilgrims have reached a conclusion on the qualities of the next Pope, and even who it could be.
“A Pope that it's near to young people, young folks, and I don´t know. What God will want for us it will be good.”
“Me and my friends, think a good one will be Sean O'Malley because he's not too old and is very capable to use internet, a blog. It's the first cardinal who has a blog. I don´t know, I like it. Because also for the older thing about the scandal of the pedophiles in his town, he acted good.”
As the smoke cleared out, so did St. Peter's Square, leaving behind only journalist, who had packed the Square since the early morning.
A group of about 50 faithful also clustered near the Obelisk
to pray on their knees, as they had done so every night for the past few weeks.