Meeting poses test of pope’s diplomatic skills

Argentine leader requests his help with Falklands

  • Election1
  • First days2
  • Inauguration3
  • Symbols4
  • End of ceremony5
When Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was introduced as Pope Francis on the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, it was an occasion of many firsts: The first pope named Francis, the first pope from the Americas, and the first Jesuit pope.

Explore the college of cardinals

First days
Then he began his first acts as pope, visiting basilicas in Rome, addressing the press, celebrating masses and meeting with the college of cardinals.


March 14 Visits Santa Maria Maggiore
March 15 Audience with cardinals, visit to a Rome clinic to visit Argentine Cardinal Jorge Maria Mejia, visit the replica of the grotto of Lourdes
March 16 Reconfirmation of prefects, presidents and secretaries. Presides over Mass at St. Anne's Church
March 17 Prays to Angelus at St. Peter's Square
March 18 Meets Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
Francis will be installed in St. Peter's Square, where hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend. The installation is expected to begin with a visit by Pope Francis to St. Peter's tomb inside the basilica. The pope and cardinals will then leave the basilica, reciting the Litany of the Saints.

Photo of St. Peter's tomb by Allie Caulfield

Mitra Liturgical hat used by Catholic hierarchy.
Pallium The five red crosses symbolize the five wounds of Christ.
Fisherman's ring The pope will use it as seal for official documents. It will be destroyed upon his death.
Baculus A staff and symbol of the pope as shepherd of men. The pope's staff has a cross at the top.
Red shoes Only the pope can wear them, and he decides whether to use them or not.
The installation will include the traditional papal symbols, including the fisherman's ring, the pallium and the baculus.

Click on the symbols to know more or visit this interactive explanation of the papal regalia.

End of ceremony
One of the last events will be the homage to the pope, where Catholic representatives will kneel before the pontiff. In the past, the college of cardinals would kneel before the pope, but Benedict XVI changed the tradition.
The pope will meet with various delegations, including Vice President Joe Biden. After this ceremony, the installation will be complete, though the papacy of Pope Francis will be just beginnning.

US Vice President Joe Biden, right, and Italian Premier Mario Monti review the honor guard in Rome Monday. Joe Biden will lead the US delegation to newly elected Pope Francis's installation in Rome.

SOURCE: Holy See Press Office, Caeremoniale Romanum

Chiqui Esteban/Globe Staff