Inauguration ceremony shows Pope Francis’ wish to get closer to his people, and to protect the poor and the weak

Pope Francis touring St Peter's square prior to his Inauguration Mass on Tuesday 19th March

Pope Francis greets his people. Onlookers said he gave some the “thumbs up” sign as he ushered in a more down to earth style. Picture: EPA/ETTORE FERRARI

Our new Pope toured a packed St Peter’s square in an open top jeep, prior to his inauguration Mass on Tuesday 19th. He signaled his wish to get closer to his people, swapping the traditional bullet proof popemobile for an open-top jeep, descending from it to bless members of the crowd behind the barriers.   “All I ask of you is: Pray for me,” he told the crowd of 500,000 worshippers.

In his Inauguration Mass homily, he called on global leaders and all the people of the world to defend the poor and the weak, who he said are “often the last we think about”.

Habemus Papam! God bless Francis from Argentina

Getty Images, Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Pope Francis greets his people in Rome and asks for their prayers.
Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

The first ever Latin American Pope, Francis I, has called for the world to set off on a path of love and asked the faithful to pray for him. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, former head of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales, said the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires is a “humble man” whose own “simplicity of life” will inspire others. Follow the story here.