Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio made history today by being the first non-European Pope in 1000 years. An enthusiastic crowd in St. Peter’s Square greeted him after white smoke rose from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel that indicates the College of Cardinals have elected the world’s new Pope to replace the resigned Pope Benedict XVI.
The Cardinal, who the world will now call Pope Francis, is the first Jesuit Pope and the first Pope to come from Latin America. The crowds shouted “Viva iL Papa” upon the recognition of the new pope.
Many analysts expected to have Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola to be the next Pope, given his close connection to the Vatican and his duties to its activities.
Pope Francis spent most of his entire holy career in his home in Buenos Aires. He preferred to live simply and tried to avoid the extravagant life of some Archbishops and Cardinals. He lived in an apartment and headed to the Archbishop’s palace for work through the bus, not the private chauffeur provided to most holy leaders. He is described as a man of humble origins and rare humility.
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was named after St. Francis of Assisi, who had lived a spiritual life and rid himself of his material possessions. For his faith, he made a Church to which Jesus appeared to him three times, saying to him to “Fix my Church” each time. During St. Assisi’s era, the Church climate was corrupt and politics got in the way of true faith, and this is where he stepped in.