As the white smoke emerged and the world began to meet Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the 76-year-old virgin and Argentine Jesuit Cardinal with one lung who will be known as Pope Francis I, Catholics everywhere jumped and cried for joy with the news they are no longer leaderless. There was no bigger party than in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican City, where tens of thousands of followers and visitors were waiting in the rain for a man to appear from that balcony. Here's the tale of celebration, from smoke to wave.
At first there was relative calm. The Vatican crowd waited with bated breath for smoke — any smoke! — to signal whether or not a new Pope has been chosen (AP):
And then, whammo! White smoke emerged and Vatican square was instantly a party (AP):
Some great Americans were there representing their great country. This means the rest of us will be absolved for not attending, right? (AP)
This guy was so overjoyed with emotion he immediately kissed the cross (AP):
She can't decide whether or not to scream or hold up her country's flag. Papal excitement does strange things to your brain (AP):
Look at how happy the guy on the right is in this next picture. Can you imagine if the conclave went another day? It might have killed him. For now, sheer bliss (AP):
This might be the best papal photo bomb (AP):
The two on the outside are just plain excited but the guy in the middle is still watching the scoreboard to see if the white smoke would be called back. Maybe it was just a mistake? (Reuters)
But no! It wasn't a mistake. The new pope is real! And this lady was so overcome the only thing she could think to do is pray, pray, pray (Reuters):
Hey, look! Some more great Americans were there! And more photo bombers, too! Hopefully that person isn't a vampire, for fist-in-the-air guy's sake. (Though it doesn't make much sense for a vampire to be waiting in the Vatican. Wouldn't a vampire immediately burn?) (Reuters):
This guy started to praise God as soon as he heard the news, much to the chagrin of the person on the right (Reuters):
This lady was compelled to clap when she saw the smoke (Reuters):
This lady almost cried (Reuters):
Some people even brought signs, like a soccer match (Reuters):
Unfortunately, we have some sad news to share. The new Pope made this small child cry (Reuters):
But then the Pope Francis emerged, waved to the crowd and everything was okay again (AP):
Here's that first Papal wave as a GIF:
And look at him smile. He has an adorable old man smile, which makes sense considering he's 76 years old:
"It seems to me that my brothers and cardinals have chosen one who is from far away, but here I am," Francis remarked during his first appearance on the Vatican balcony:
Indeed, the crowd approved:
And he smiled even bigger that day:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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