ROME, March 14, 2013—Habemus papam!
Pope Francis emerged at the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica amid thunderous playing of drums and applause from hundreds of thousands of faithful gathered at St. Peter’s Square.
As he gave his urbi and orbi blessing at the balcony, Pope Francis invited the crowd to pray in silence for his intentions. He also led the crowd in praying for the intention of his predecessor, Benedict XVI.
The people have been at vigil at the square for the past several days praying for the cardinals as they prepare and eventually begun the conclave.
The white smoke wafted out of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel at around 7:06 p.m. local time signifying that the Cardinal electors have elected a new pontiff.
Pope Francis was elected at fifth balloting after the Cardinals sequestered themselves inside the Sistine Chapel on evening of March 12 for the election.
Formerly Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina, Pope Francis will lead the Catholic Church of around 1.2 billion. (CBCPNews)