Surprise choice for pope
When the senior cardinal finally emerged onto the balcony of St. Peter`s Basilica to announce to the throngs of people below who the new pope is, there was a moment of confusion and bewilderment.
People looked at eachother and were overheard saying, "who is it?" "what`s his name?"
But that confusion was soon filled with elation and joy when the new pope, Pope Francis, came out to greet the tens of thousands of people who had gathered in the square and in nearby streets.
They could soon be heard chanting, "Francisco, Francisco!" "Viva il Papa!"
Oto Maxwell from the states was one of many who was surprised.
"It actually took me by a huge surprise," he says, "I didn`t know that we were going to choose an Argentinian cardinal."
Jules Charette of Montreal was also taken aback.
"It`s a big surprise because his name was not mentioned among the top contenders."
Surprised, but the crowd did not seem disappointed.
"He is very charismatic," said one faithful among the thousands. "He made the crowd laugh so that`s a good thing."
"Change is good," said another.
"I`m proud to be Catholic in this moment," expressed another.
On Thursday, the pope will keep a fairly low-profile. He will celebrate mass with the cardinals who elected him later in the day and he will visit the leader he replaces, Benedict XVI.