14-March-2013 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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Pope Francis Begins Pontificate Leading Faithful in Prayer

VATICAN CITY, March 13, 2013 (Zenit.org) - Pope Francis' first moments as the 267th Successor of St. Peter were characterized by prayer. He arrived to the central balcony of St. Peter's at 8:22 local time, gazing upon the cheering crowds for two minutes before calling out, "Good evening!"

During his 12 minutes on the balcony, he led the faithful in praying an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He also bowed in a moment of silence, inviting the faithful to pray God's blessing for himself just before he imparted his own apostolic blessing, his first blessing to the city and the world.

Before leaving the balcony just after 8:30 local time, he told the faithful he wanted to ask for the intercession of Our Lady.

Jorge Bergoglio was born Dec. 17, 1936, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was ordained a Jesuit priest on Dec. 13, 1969. He was created cardinal by John Paul II in 2001.

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Modified to correct and include more details from Francis' first address.

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