On March 13, 2013, the world waited in hushed anticipation, eyes fixed on a small chimney atop the Sistine Chapel. Just after 7 p.m. Rome time, a billow of white smoke erupted and Catholics the world over rejoiced. Habemus Papam! We have a pope!
An hour later, Jorge Maria Bergoglio, the humble Cardinal from Argentina emerged onto the loggia and chose the name Francis, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi.
After taking in the scene of Saint Peter's Square, Pope Francis greeted the pilgrims:
" You know that the work of the conclave is to give a bishop to Rome," the new Pontiff said. "It seems as if my brother cardinals went to find him from the end of the earth, but here we are. Thank you for the welcome."
These words encapsulate the humility, gentleness, and humor of the Church's newest pontiff. In Pope Francis: The Pope from the End of the Earth, best-selling author Thomas J. Craughwell gives a first look at the life and journey of the first pope from the New World and offers a glimpse of what his pontificate could mean for the Church.