The 76-year-old is Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina will be known as Pope Francis I.
After the conclave which lasted 25 hours, the white smoke rose above the Sistine Chapel and bells rang across Rome with the pronouncement of a new pope.
Pope Francis emerged on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica speaking in Italian and asking for a blessing. “Pray for me,” he said. In his speech he invited others to take this journey with him.
Thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square to witness history in the making.
Today’s election of the new pope is history as Pope Francis is the first Jesuit Pope. The Jesuits are known in the church for their work in missionaries, charitable works and founding education while they traditionally stay away from church politics.
With the growing number of Latin American Catholics, this signals a monumental Latin American moment. Pope Francis is the first elected non-European Pope in more than 1,000 years and he is the first pope of Latin America.
Catholics cheered and wept in praise across the region. Many Roman Catholics are hoping this new Pope will be reformed and open to the various social issues people are facing today.
All of this signals a new era for the Catholic Church which has come under fire with various scandals over the years.
According to NBC World News, George Weigel an NBC News' Vatican analyst said Pope Francis would be "a great defender of religion around the world. The papacy has moved to the New World. The church has a new pope with a new name,” he said. “I think it speaks to the church’s commitment to the poor of the world and compassion in a world that often needs a lot of healing.”
So how much is known about the new pope?
He will be known as Pope Francis I, as he is the first pope named Francis.
A chemist by trade, Pope Francis is recognized for his work with Argentina’s poor. The son of a railway worker and one of five siblings, he holds a degree in chemistry. When Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was young, he suffered a serious infection and one of his lungs was removed.
Known for his humility, Pope Francis is the 266th leader of the Roman Catholic Church.
In an article posted by The Guardian, they listed 13 key facts of Pope Francis.
He speaks fluent Italian, as well as Spanish and German. He said if he were to be elected pope, he told Argentinians not to travel to Rome to celebrate, but to celebrate by giving their money to the poor instead.
Bergoglio is an author. He co-wrote a book called “Sobre el Cielo y la Tierra” which translates “Over Heaven and Earth.” The book is in Spanish and it’s available on Kindle.
The new spiritual leader for Roman Catholics will be installed in ceremonies on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. A spokesperson from the White House announced Wednesday that Vice President Joe Biden will lead the U.S. delegation to the new pope’s installation.