Congratulations Pope Francis on your 4th anniversary
Four years ago today, the Cardinals in Conclave in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, as Successor of Peter
At the age of 77 — he was born on December 17, 1936 — he became the 266th Pope and he took the name Francis, in reference to Saint Francis of Assisi and of the love of peace and of the poor. Francis is the first Pope of the Society of Jesus, the first Pope from the South of the world, and of the American Continent. Rome had not had a non-European Bishop since Syrian Pope Gregory III in the 8th century.
Below is a translation from the Vatican archives of the brief greeting Pope Francis gave from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Square following his election.
Brothers and sisters, good evening!
You know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems as though my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world to get him. But here we are. I thank you for your welcome. The diocesan community of Rome has a bishop. Thank you!
Before all else, I would like to say a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord may bless him and that Our Lady may watch over him …
[Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be]
Now let us begin this journey together as bishop and people. This journey of the Church of Rome, which is to preside over all the Churches in charity. It is a journey of fraternity, of love, of trust between us. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the world, so that a great brotherhood may be created. I hope that this journey of the Church, which we begin today and in which my Cardinal Vicar who is present here will assist me, will be fruitful for the Evangelization of this beautiful city.
And now I would like to give you my blessing. But before I do, I would like to ask you a favor: before the bishop blesses the people, I ask you to pray to the Lord that He bless me…. the prayer of the people for a blessing upon their bishop. Let us take a moment of silence for you to offer your prayer for me.”
[The Holy Father bows in silence]
“Now I will give you my blessing and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.”
Brothers and Sisters, I leave you now. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me. And we’ll see one another again soon. Tomorrow I want to go and pray to Our Lady, asking her to watch over Rome. Good night and have a good rest.