On March 13, 2013, the conclave of Cardinals from around the world elected a humble man of God from Argentina to be the next leader of the Catholic Church.
Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1936, Pope Francis is the 266th pontiff and the first pope from South America.
Bergoglio grew up as the son of Italian immigrants. Before being ordained a Jesuit priest in 1969, Bergoglio earned a master's degree in Chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires.
Bergoglio was proclaimed Cardinal Bergoglio by Pope John Paul II in 2001 and lived a simple life of service in Argentina, cooking for himself and riding the bus to work.
Across the U.S. and around the world, Catholic parents have spent the evening learning more about our new leader, Pope Francis, who chose his name after St. Francis of Assisi.
Catholics aren't the only people interested in the outcome of the conclave. Twitter reported over seven million tweets about the Papacy on Wednesday.
Included in the tweets is this from U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan, "Prayers of gratitude on the election of Pope Francis. His life of humility & commitment to the poor inspires us all."
Although some news reports have stated the new pope's name as Pope Francis I, the Office of the Vatican corrected that in a tweet, noting that Pope Francis' name will only have the Roman numeral I added when a second Pope Francis is elected.
In Colorado, Catholics took to the street with cheers, rallying for Pope Francis with chants of, "He rides the bus, he's one of us!"
Photos of Pope Francis have been circulating on Facebook, showing him as a cardinal washing the feet of others and visiting the ill and infirm.
A humble man of God to lead the Catholic Church, living the message of peace shared so many years ago by St. Francis of Assisi is truly a reason for all Christians to rejoice.
St. Francis is perhaps best known for his famous quote, "Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words."
The inauguration of Pope Francis is set for 9:30 a.m. in St. Peter's Square on March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph.
As Catholic parents, we can hold Pope Francis up as an example to our children. Just a few days after Laetare Sunday, it seems fitting to celebrate the election of Pope Francis with joy.