Pope Francis delivers first blessing, asks world for prayers

Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:45pm EDT
 
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VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, delivered his first blessing to a huge crowd in St Peter's Square on Wednesday night, asking for the prayers of "all men and women of good will" to help him lead the Catholic Church.

Francis, speaking Italian with a slight Latin American accent, joked with the crowd before delivering his blessing, saying: "As you know the duty of the conclave is to give Rome a bishop. It seems that my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world."

(Reporting By Philip Pullella)

 
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, 2013. REUTERS/Max Rossi