They cheered, they celebrated, and they prayed in St Peter’s Square.
Thousands had stood all day in the rain – though the sight of white smoke must have been worth the wait, and the wet.
For those who come from Latin America – and from one country in particular, Argentina – this was special.
“It was totally unexpected because we thought that Bergoglio couldn’t be pope because of his age, but it’s good. Now we are sincerely happy, and hoping that he will be one of the best popes the world has ever had,” said one man wearing an Argentine football shirt.
“He is a Pope who back in Argentina is a fighter. He is a priest who strives for justice. We were confident, we knew that it was difficult but we said it could be possible,” said another man.
“He has already spoken about poverty, hasn’t he? This is important for us and for all the world too,” said a nun.
“There is great emotion because he is a South American pope. Long live Venezuela, long live Argentina! We wish him all the best for this new beginning,” said a young woman draped in a Colombian flag.
Euronews correspondent in St Peter’s Square, Sergio Cantone, said:
“This is a historic moment for the Catholic Church. It’s the first time that a pope is taking the name Francis. He comes from Latin America, from Argentina, and this is new. What that will bring to innovate and evangelise, we will know in time.”