CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE (U.S.), CLARIN (Argentina), VATICAN RADIO (Vatican)
VATICAN CITY- The inauguration of Pope Francis took place Tuesday morning in St. Peter’s Square before a sea of simple faithful and heads of state from around the world. Babies were kissed, flags were flown, and the Vatican rolled out its open-top white papal jeep. Here’s the 9 most interesting things that happened this morning.
MASS AND MASSES An estimated 150,000 people attended in Rome, while back in his hometown of Buenos Aires, a reported 40,000 watched on giant screens in the Plaza de Mayo, reports Clarin.
HATS! People from all over the world came to see the inauguration of the first Jesuit and Latin American pontiff.
FÚTBOL In a role reversal, Jorge Bergoglio’s beloved soccer team San Lorenzo de Almagro were cheering for him today.
ST. FRANCIS In his homily Pope Francis stated that all of creation should be protected, including nature, animals and the environment: “The vocation of being a “protector”, however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live ... Be protectors of God’s gifts!” [Entire text in English here]
ST. JOSEPH The happiest dignitary present was definitely U.S. VP Joe Biden, himself a Roman Catholic. Today also happens to be St. Joseph’s Day, who featured in Francis’ protection themed homily where he urged the faithful to protect everyone; ourselves, each other and all of creation.
NOT ST. ROBERT Everything wasn't holy in the piazza. Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, who is not allowed to travel in European Union territory, did make it onto Vatican soil for the festivities.
SHOES Wearing his trusty black shoes instead of the traditional red pair, after the mass the pope changed out of his ceremonial vestments into a plain white cassock to greet the representatives and dignitaries.
SOCIAL SERVICE As if he didn’t have enough to do today, Pope Francis even found a moment to tweet messages to his 2,043,451 English followers.
Let us keep a place for Christ in our lives, let us care for one another and let us be loving custodians of creation.— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) March 19, 2013
True power is service.The Pope must serve all people, especially the poor, the weak, the vulnerable.— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) March 19, 2013