"Brothers and Sisters, good evening. You know that the charge of the conclave was to give a bishop of Rome. It would seem that my brothers went to the end of the world to choose him," said Jorge Bergoglio -- adopting the name of Pope Francis, as he addressed the multitudes from balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, invoking the name of "our Bishop Emeritus Benedict," asking all to pray for the former Holy Father, and for himself, as he embarks on the challenges of his Office.
His Holiness bowed from the waist, in a gesture of respect for the dignity of all persons, before blessing all those who are present in Rome, the 1.2 billion Roman Catholics he ministers to; and all those of goodwill who looked on from the far corners of the world, saying:
“I give my blessing to you and all people of good will in the world."
Prior addressing the audience -- estimated at 150,000 -- the Pontiff spent time in the presence of the Holy Eucharist, in the Pauline Chapel.
Entering the order founded by the Spanish priest, St Ignatius (Ignacio de Loyola (1491–1556) as the Society of Jesus -- which took place during the Papacy of Pope Pious XII, in 1958. Father Bergoglio was ordained in 1969, and thereafter he served as a professor of theology; later serving as a provincial leader and a seminary rector.
The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN News) reports an interview with the Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, who described the Holy Father:
[Pope Francis] is a man from the new heartland of the global Church; a priest of extraordinary intellectual and cultural strengths; a man deeply engaged in the issues of contemporary life and able to speak to the modern heart; open to the new realities the Church faces; and rooted in a deep love of Jesus Christ.
He is a wonderful choice; a pastor God sends not just to the Church but to every person of good will who honestly yearns for justice, peace and human dignity in our time.
Additional information is available at the EWTN site, where the Holy Father produced a television series in Spanish, which will soon be available on YouTube, according to Doug Keck, the executive producer at the network.
Jay Reeves, writing for the Associated Press, details a brief history of the operations in Irondale, Alabama, where EWTN has been operating since 1981:
Started by a nun in a cramped garage more than three decades ago, EWTN now produces television broadcasts available in 225 million households in more than 140 counties and territories. The network, with 336 total employees, has about 50 staffers in Rome working on conclave coverage being aired in English, Spanish and German, said chief executive Michael Warsaw.
Aside from its television side, EWTN also operates two radio networks and a shortwave broadcasting operation; web-based programs; and a U.S.-based newspaper, the National Catholic Register.
Also, on this day -- the 13th of March -- in 1533, at the College Sainte-Barbe in Paris, Ignatius of Loyola completed his own course of philosophy, taking the Doctoral degree.
A novena of Grace -- a devotion practiced by Jesuits and their communities, worldwide, in prayer and in the reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist, from March 4th through March 12th, commemorates the anniversary of the canonization of St. Ignatius and St. Francis Xavier, who was a student of Ignatius and one of the first Jesuits dedicated at Montmartre in Paris, in 1534, which led to the founding of the Society of Jesus.
Jorge Bergoglio served has authored a number of publications, including "The Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness;" and "Corruption and Sin.
He also served as the editor of the "Dialogos Entre Juan Pablo II y Fidel Castro," (Dialogue Between John Paul II and Fidel Castro) published by Editorial de Ciencia y Cultura, in 1998.
In a statement released from the White House this evening, President Barack Obama writes:
On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I offer our warm wishes to His Holiness Pope Francis as he ascends to the Chair of Saint Peter and begins his papacy.
As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has inspired the world for more than two thousand years—that in each other we see the face of God.
As the first pope from the Americas, his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the joy of this historic day.
Just as I appreciated our work with Pope Benedict XVI, I look forward to working with His Holiness to advance peace, security and dignity for our fellow human beings, regardless of their faith.
We join with people around the world in offering our prayers for the Holy Father as he begins the sacred work of leading the Catholic Church in our modern world.