In seeing this video and, above all, in having lived the experience myself, I can’t help but ask: How could you not love being Catholic?
To feel the waves of emotion billowing through the crowds of faithful, to perceive their hope and faith in God’s promise: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” This promise was completed in its fullness through Christ the Lord.
This promise continues to be completed in the lives of each one of us and is completed in a special way through Christ’s Vicar on this earth: Pope Francis.
Rarely considered a “Papabile”, the appearance of Jorge Bergaglio shot currents of surprise and childlike joy through the crowd… “A Pope from Argentina!” “A Jesuit Pope!” “I can’t believe it!” “Francis, the first Francis!” “I know him. He is a good man!” “Long live the Pope!”
This clamor was soon hushed by the anxious wait for his first words. A relationship of closeness and friendship arose instantly. He invited us to pray for Benedict XVI. He gave us his blessing. He invited us to pray for him. He encouraged us to walk the path of Christ, of brotherhood, of service, and of love. From that moment, everyone of those 150,000 people in the square and the millions more watching, knew that we had a Father to guide us, a Father that would love us and give us the best of what he had: his faith and service to Christ and the Church.
Words come up drastically short from describing not only the emotion but the spirit that was lived in such a moment. In any case, let us now rejoice, thanking the Holy Spirit for his guidance, and renew our determination to grow each day in holiness, together as brothers and sisters of one, holy, Catholic, and Roman Church.
The following are his first words:
“Brothers and sisters good evening.
You all know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother Cardinals have come almost to the ends of the earth to get him… but here we are. I thank you for the welcome that has come from the diocesan community of Rome.
First of all I would say a prayer pray for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI.. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord bless him and Our Lady protect him.
Glory to the Father…
And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood. My hope is that this journey of the Church that we begin today, together with help of my Cardinal Vicar, be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.
And now I would like to give the blessing, but first I want to ask you a favour. Before the bishop blesses the people I ask that you would pray to the Lord to bless me – the prayer of the people for their Bishop. Let us say this prayer – your prayer for me – in silence.
[The Protodeacon announced that all those who received the blessing, either in person or by radio, television or by the new means of communication, receive the plenary indulgence in the form established by the Church. He prayed that Almighty God protect and guard the Pope so that he may lead the Church for many years to come, and that he would grant peace to the Church throughout the world.]
[Immediately afterwards Pope Francis gave his first blessing Urbi et Orbi – To the City and to the World.]
I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.
Brothers and sisters, I am leaving you. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me and I will be with you again soon.
We will see one another soon.
Tomorrow I want to go to pray to the Madonna, that she may protect Rome.
Good night and sleep well!”