Political and religious leaders from around the world are also attending the Mass in St Peter’s Square, marking the official start of his papacy. The first pontiff from the Americas, he has suggested he will take a more modest approach than his predecessors.
He became the first pontiff in 600 years to abdicate last month. Citing his age, 85, he said he could no longer continue in the post. The list of attendees for Monday’s Mass includes US Vice-President Joe Biden and the spiritual head of the Orthodox Church, Patriarch Bartholomew.
He will be the first Orthodox patriarch to attend a papal inauguration Mass since the two branches of Christianity split more than 1,000 years ago.Thousands of people held overnight vigils across Argentina in preparation of Tuesday’s Mass.
The event will be broadcast on giant screens set up outside the cathedral on Plaza de Mayor, the main square in the capital Buenos Aires.
Tens of thousands gathered at the Vatican early Tuesday for the inauguration Mass of Pope Francis as new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
“We are originally from Argentina and we wanted to be here today because Pope Francis is from our home town. We were so proud when he was elected. We travelled overnight so we could be here today,” Cirigliano Valetin, 51, an electrician who works in Salerno in southern Italy told Reuters.
“He is a simple, humble person, he is not like the untouchable popes, he seems like someone normal people can reach out to,” said Valetin, who is originally from Buenos Aires.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born 17 December 1936 s the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church, elected on 13 March 2013. As such, he is both head of the Church and Sovereign of the Vatican City State. he was ordained as a priest in 1969. He served as head of the Society of Jesus in Argentina from 1973 to 1979. In 1998 he became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and in 2001 a cardinal. Following the resignation of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, on 28 February 2013, the conclave elected Bergoglio, who chose the papal name Francis in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi. He is the first pope to be a Jesuit, to come from the Americas, and to come from the Southern Hemisphere.
The Roman Catholic Church is set to install its new leader Pope Francis on Tuesday, March 19 at 4:00 pm (Manila time) at the expansive Saint Peter’s Square.
The inauguration is the ceremonial transition of power to the newly elected Roman Pontiff within liturgical rites and before hundreds of thousands of the Church’s faithful, dignitaries, world leaders and leaders of other religious denominations.
Argentine President Christina Fernandez, who clashed with then Buenos Aires Archbishop Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio on a number of issues, is also expected to attend the formal installation.
Among the most awaited highlights of the event is the entrance, which varied from pope to pope. Benedict XVI entered the square in a modified ‘popemobile’ while earlier popes were carried in by a wooden thrones.
Pope John Paul II ended the practice of being crowned with the papal tiara in 1978, believing the symbolism pertains more to the transfer of worldly power than a spiritual one.
Inaugural Mass of the Pontificate