Pope Francis Delivers First Blessing, Requests Prayer

Pope Francis
Newly elected Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, appears on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica after being elected by the conclave of cardinals, at the Vatican, March 13 (Reuters/Tony Gentile)

The Vatican announced Wednesday that Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected to lead the Roman Catholic Church. He will be called Pope Francis.

The new pontiff addressed the public for the first time on Wednesday from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. The full text of his speech is below:

You all know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother Cardinals have come almost to the ends of the earth to get him… but here we are. I thank you for the welcome that has come from the diocesan community of Rome.

First of all I would say a prayer pray for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord bless him and Our Lady protect him.

Our Father…

Hail Mary…

Glory to the Father…

And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood. My hope is that this journey of the Church that we begin today, together with help of my Cardinal Vicar, be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.

And now I would like to give the blessing, but first I want to ask you a favor. Before the bishop blesses the people I ask that you would pray to the Lord to bless me—the prayer of the people for their Bishop. Let us say this prayer—your prayer for me—in silence.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.

Brothers and sisters, I am leaving you. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me and I will be with you again soon.

We will see one another soon.

Tomorrow I want to go to pray the Madonna, that she may protect Rome.

Good night and sleep well!

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