The papal duties of Pope Francis will have to wait as the new pope greets and thanks journalists and world leaders over the next few days.
While the new pope’s schedule is already set, if Thursday is any indication, expect plenty of surprises from Pope Francis, leading up to the Mass of Inauguration on March 19.
The former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the new pope on Wednesday. With the formal introduction of Pope Francis at Saint Peter’s Square, the pope made a surprise stop at the Rome Basilica of Saint Mary Major, Vatican Radio said. The visit wasn't scheduled and the residents who happened to be near the church were treated to a truly historic encounter.
Pope Francis will also spend time speaking to world leaders and thanking them for their support, the U.S. edition of Metro said. He has also set up a Saturday meeting with the media to thank them for their coverage of the conclave.
Pope Francis was joined at Saint Peter's Square by Prefect of the Papal Household, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, as well as Vice Prefect Leonardo Sapienza, Vatican Radio said. Several schoolchildren near the basilica also had a chance to meet the new pope.
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While the Rome Basilica of Saint Mary Major visit was unplanned, the schedule for Pope Francis has already been established, Radio Vatican said. The pontiff's busy schedule will begin on Thursday, March 14. See his full schedule here.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Mass for the closure of the Conclave in the Sistine Chapel (17:00)
New York City Cardinal Timothy Dolan said Pope Francis will meet with Pope emeritus Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo, the Associated Press reported.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Audience with the College of Cardinals in the Clementine Hall, near Saint Peter’s Basilica (11:00 local time)
Saturday, March 16, 2013
In a departure from his papal duties, Pope Francis will meet with journalists and media that covered the conclave beginning at 11 a.m. local time.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Pope Francis will recite Angelus, a short prayer honoring the Incarnation, at noon, in St. Peter’s Square.
Nothing is scheduled for Monday, March 18, however, on Tuesday, March 19, the Mass of Inauguration of the Petrine Ministry will be held at 9:30 a.m. local time. Pope Francis will receive the pallium and the Ring of the Fisherman and the Mass of Inauguration will also include other ceremonial acts.