Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis on Wednesday, a rainy and chilly day which did not discourage tens of thousands of people to gather in St. Peter's Square.
Despite the morning's black smoke and the pouring rain, tourists and faithful started gathering in St. Peter's from the early hours of the afternoon.By 6 p.m. the square was a patchwork of umbrellas of every size and color.
White or black? At 7:09 p.m. a stream of smoke began pouring from the Vatican chimney.
It was clearly white smoke, as shown on the large screens on the square.
Tolling bells confirmed that the pope had been elected.
Music spread in the square. A brass band made up of the Vatican gendarmerie played next to helmeted Swiss guards.
After French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran announced the name of Cardinal Bergoglio and said he had picked the name of Francis, all eyes were fixed at the burgundy draped balcony.
After a few minutes, Pope Francis emerged from behind the red curtains, looking vaguely stunned. Wearing the all-white vestments of the Catholic leader, he greeted the huge crowd: “Brothers and sisters, good evening. It seems the conclave went to the other side of the world to find a new pope."
Argentines rejoiced at the news that Bergoglio was elected. He is the first from the Americas, the first from outside Europe in over 1,300 years and the first pope with the name Francis. He is also the first Jesuit pontiff.