Last week, on Tuesday, the conclave started for the election of a new pope. We do not have cable, but I pulled up live streaming of the procession of cardinals to the Sistine Chapel through the EWTN app on my phone. I was babysitting 6 extra kids that morning, so I carried my phone around and watched/listened while keeping track of where all the kids were. I kept showing various kids what was happening. It was fascinating to watch all of the cardinals processing along and then taking the oath one by one in the Sistine Chapel. It was good to put faces with some of the names I had been hearing. Then all of the extra people got sent out, and I watched the doors of the Sistine Chapel close. What an awesome moment, knowing the conclave was truly beginning! Later, in the early afternoon, there was black smoke for the first time. No pope.
The next day, Wednesday, Dan woke up at 5:30am, just in time to see black smoke come pouring out of the chimney. No pope on the second or third ballots. At 10:30, while we were doing schoolwork, I turned on the "smoke cam," just in case the cardinals had decided on a pope on the fourth ballot. Nothing, but the people were sure gathering in St. Peter's Square. I kept checking the coverage, listening to the commentators talk about this cardinal or that cardinal, and predicting who they thought the new pope would be. For a long time, a seagull sat on top of the chimney. It was funny to hear the commentators wondering if that "meant" anything. And then! And then, at 1:05, I heard the roar of the crowd and looked to see smoke coming out of the chimney. Oh, it looked black. No wait! It was white! It was white! We had a new pope!! I called the kids to come watch, we jumped up and down and cheered. What a celebration! I turned on the TV, and some of the main channels were covering it at that point, so we were all able to watch easier. We sat and waited and wondered, who could it be? I was so glad the kids had the opportunity to watch all of it with me. History in the making!
Then, at about 2:12, the announcement came. I heard the name and thought to myself, who is that? Then I heard Franciscum, and I knew our new pope had chosen the name Francis. And then he came out:
What a joyful time! Pope Francis, previously a cardinal from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The first pope from the western hemisphere! The first Latin American pope! The first Jesuit pope! I loved how all the commentators were surprised, and they scrambled to get information about him. We since have been learning about this humble, holy man. What an exciting, wonderful thing to happen in the midst of our homeschooling day!