The Argentine Jorge Bergoglio was the first American Pope and of the Jesuit Order.
He took the name “Francisco”, in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi.
After an expectant vigil, at half past 9 in the morning the celebration began inside the Basilica of Saint Peter.
There, the Pope prayed at the tomb of the founder of the Catholic Church together with important bishops and archbishops.
Then, the pontiff led the procession through the traditional square, while various Catholic hymns were sung.
As soon as the tour began in a convertible van, Francisco broke protocol by getting out of the vehicle from which he was being transferred to kiss a disabled man on the forehead who was held in the arms of a relative.
He did the same with several children and newborns.
This attitude appeared not only to those present but also to the millions of viewers who followed what was happening in Saint Peter’s Square from all over the world.
This attitude also marked a style of closeness of the Argentine Pope with his faithful, especially with the weakest.
Thousands of Catholic religious, hundreds of representatives of other faiths and 130 international delegations made up of government authorities from around the world participated in the historic mass.
Francis received the “pallium imposition” from the protodeacon cardinal, Jean-Louis Tauran, the same one who announced the famous “habemus papam” a few days before.
Meanwhile, the delivery of the ring that bears the image of Saint Peter with the keys to the kingdom of God, was in charge of Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals.
The ceremony was in Latin, the official language of the Church, reading the Bible in English and the Gospel in Greek.
The Pope, meanwhile, delivered the homily in Italian improvising in some passages.
The mass coincided with the liturgical feast of Saint Joseph, patron of the Church.
In that first meeting, the pontiff asked all those who make decisions “to be guardians of the other and of the environment.”
After the mass, which did not appear for more than two hours, Francisco stripped off his liturgical vestments and greeted the heads of the official delegations of the countries present at the central altar of the basilica.
Members of royalty were also present: there was Guillermo, the crown prince of the Netherlands, and the -at that time- future queen Máxima Zorreguieta; Prince Felipe de Borbón and his wife, Letizia Ortiz of Spain; Prince Albert and Charlene of Monaco; and the kings Alberto and Paola of Belgium.
After the greetings, Francisco went to the residence of Santa Marta, where he spent the first days of his pontificate.
On March 19, 2013, Pope Francis began his pontificate with a mass in Saint Peter’s Square before 200,000 attendees.
The story is also news. RadioProfile.
Script by Javier Pasaragua and locution by Pita Fortín.