Saturday, March 16, 2013

Habemus Papam

 It's been a pretty exciting week in our house as we very carefully followed the Conclave and the election of a new Pope.

Catholics and non-Catholics alike were all pretty excited and interested in the choosing of a new Pope. That was made very clear by how much media attention the whole process got!

With all kinds of apps for our iPhones and iPads out there as well as TV channels and radio it was really easy to keep up with what was going on in Rome.

We read and learned as much as we could about the process as well as the men involved in the process.

When Wednesday came I was sure we'd see more black smoke from the famous "Papal Chimney"  indicating that no new Pope had been chosen.  But we knew that there had been 5 votes it had to be getting close.  William and I had the famous chimney steaming on two iphones, the ipad and the TV to make sure we won't miss it when it finally started spouting smoke.
Then it happened. At first the smoke was grey and then it was very white and it billowed out of the little chimney.
 Chimney images borrowed from online

We were all so excited we jumped up and down and screamed and cheered. I couldn't believe they had done it in such a short time.

William turned on his "Bells" app on his phone and I grabbed my Gramma's old school bells and we all started ringing bells along with the bells in St. Peter's square.

Were there bells ringing in your town? Could you hear them?

Bells all over the world rang in celebration of the new Pope, even though we didn't know who he was.

Obi was pretty interested in what was going on and was watching the TV intently. He also thought it was pretty funny that Mommy was jumping up and down to much.

Then FINALLY we saw the lights behind the curtains go on. Then we saw the curtains move a little. EVERYONE was trying to guess who the cardinals had chosen and in such a short time.  And then they guy in red came out and announced in Latin.
I don't speak Latin. Nor do I understand it. I was trying to figure out what he said, William was googling what words he could make out...

And then out came the Pope!
 At that point the channel we were watching FINALLY told us what they had announced in Latin and told us the new Popes name was Francis!!

I was so so so excited. I have always loved St. Fancis of Assisi and was SO excited to have a Pope Francis. I was also pretty shocked.  I had studied so many of the possible votes but not this man. I also did not expect him to take such a humble (and awesome) name.

 We stood the whole time the Pope talked to us. He led us in prayer. Asked for us to pray for him. Gave us his blessing and then said good night and told every one to have a good night sleep (it was after 8pm in Rome).

Then we jumped in our car (after running around to dress everyone and collect snacks for the ride) and drove the hour long drive to Nashville for a "Pope Rally" that we had just heard about that morning! The email announcement said the rally would be held the day the Pope was elected so we had to hurry to get there!
 We arrived late to the rally due to some mix up about the address (yes, you can get lost using a GPS).
But it was still TONS of fun seeing every one there excited about the new Holy Father. There were white and yellow balloons and Vatican flags and even plates of lemon cookies. HERE is a great picture some one posted on Instagram of the Pope Rally.
William and Rosie waving their Vatican flag

Here I am with my favorite Catholic Super Nerd and Blogger, Joan.  Seriously, she takes the Catholic nerdiness to a whole new level. Also, she organized and spoke at the rally AND she was in St. Peter's Square when Pope Benedict XVI was elected.

She was the one who got us excited about the Conclave in the first place. It was fun to jump up and down and squeal with her over Pope Francis.
 In case you are wondering what Catholics say to each other when celebrating a new Pope it's "Habemus Papam!" which means "We have a Pope!" in Latin. But "Congratulations on your new Pope!" also works. Although, "Happy Pope Day!" seems to get a fun response too.

I'll leave you with a picture of a picture (yes I took a picture of my TV) of Pope Francis.

Even if you're not Catholic I hope you can enjoy this momentous occasion.  As a friend of mine who isn't Catholic said "It's the choosing of a new leader for a Christian denomination and the whole world is watching. That's pretty cool."

And she's right. When else does the whole world pay attention to a Christian man in a joyful and positive way?  This is pretty exciting.  And at the end of the day Pope Francis is a fellow Christian seeking to serve God the best way he knows how.

Even if you don't love the office you can still love the man. Pope Francis is a pretty neat guy.
And as my mom said when she first saw him, "He's cute!" 

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