For the last two days, I’ve had the little corner of my computer occupied with the live stream of a chimney, a world away from where I sit. Waiting for the smoke to come to determine who the new leader of the Catholic church can be stressful. There’s no time limit. This thing can go on for years if no agreement is reached. So I, like 1.2 billion other Catholics around the world watched and waited. I felt like today was going to be different. There was a white bird hanging out on the chimney today.
If I’ve learned anything from the movie Under the Tuscan Sun, it’s that Italians can be superstitious, and birds have the potential to be lucky, even seagulls. The footage reminded me of a book in the Hunger Games trilogy where they reference a bird wing in the District 13 footage. Interestingly enough, it has been 13 days since the Pope gave his final address, and it is the 13th day of the month, in the 13th year of this millennium. Finally, after watching a seagull clean itself for over an hour, then fly away, the white smoke came. Synergy again. I love it.
The crowds cheered, and the reporters read tweets of praise and prayer from all over the world. People cried tears of joy and were chanting “Viva il Papa!” and other cheers of praise in their various native tongues. It’s a very big deal to a lot of people. I definitely saw someone FaceTiming from their iPad in the crowd.
There was a huge marching band, the Swiss Guard came out in a seemingly perfectly rehearsed procession, and all of this occurred within 36 minutes of the white smoke bellowing out. If the Superbowl planning committee could take lessons from anyone in the world, I really think it needs to be whomever gets this stuff ready. No technical difficulties or power outages going on at the Vatican. Just saying.
And the new Pope is…
Jorge Maria Bergoglio! He is the first South American pontiff, hailing from Argentina, as well as the first Jesuit. He has chosen the name “Francis.” I don’t want to make assumptions as to why he chose that name, but today also happens to be the feast day of Blessed Agnello of Pisa, who was admitted into the Franciscan Order by St. Francis himself on the occasion of his sojourn in Pisa. People were chanting “Francisco” from the crowd. Overall, a positive end to the wait.
Julia Cuozzo is a recent graduate from the Pace University MS in Publishing program. Though the future is uncertain, the one thing she knows is that in August 2013, she will be in Bunol, Spain, throwing tomatoes with some of the best tomato throwers in the world. She is also a huge fan of coffee and finds decaf to be an abomination.