Rome (WSYR-TV/CNN) – Fewer than 24 hours after his selection to the highest office in the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Sistine Chapel.
The new pope, selected after the stunning resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, represents many “firsts” to the Church.
In addition to being the first Jesuit pope, the Argentine Jorge Bergoglio is the first South American to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
He is also the first Pontiff to select the name “Francis” – a name he chose in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, one of the Church’s most revered and beloved figures.
The morning after white smoke first issued from the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel to announce that a new pope was chosen, CNN reported that Francis began the day by praying at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, a place of special significance for the Jesuits.