POPE FRANCIS STOPS BY HIS HOTEL, PICKS PERSONAL EFFECTS


Pope Francis in the Vatican Balcony, shortly after his appearance

Pope Francis in the Vatican Balcony, shortly after his appearance

Pope praying to Madonna, Thursday

Pope praying to Madonna, Thursday

JUST hours after his appearance requesting his subjects to bless him shortly after he was elected, Pope Francis on the first day as pontiff, stopped by his hotel to pick up his luggage and pay the bill himself.

The former archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, began his first day as pope with an early morning visit in a simple Vatican car to a Roman basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary and prayed before an icon of the Madonna in fulfillment of what he told his subjects at St. Peter’s Square just after his election that he intended to pray to  Madonna to watch over Rome.

The main item on Francis’ agenda Thursday was an inaugural afternoon Mass in the Sistine Chapel, where cardinals on Wednesday elected him leader of the 1.2 billion-strong church in an unusually quick conclave.

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