March 13, 2013


On March 13, 2013, at 8:12 p.m. Rome time, French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the senior cardinal in the order of deacons, appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s and proclaimed in Latin: “I announce to you a great joy: We have a pope! The most eminent and most reverend lord, Jorge Mario, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, Bergoglio, who has taken for himself the name Francis.”

From the moment Pope Francis, dressed simply in a white cassock, stepped out on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica for the first time and bowed March 13, 2013, he signaled his pontificate would bring some style differences to the papacy. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the leader of a large urban archdiocese in Latin America, had been elected the 266th pope and took the name Francis.

He is the first pope in history to come from the Western Hemisphere and the first non-European to be elected in almost 1,300 years. The Jesuit was also the first member of his order to be elected pope, and the first member of any religious order to be elected in nearly two centuries.