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White Smoke

Tears, cheers and prayers as the Vatican reveals new pope

IN PICTURES: Twenty reactions to the election of the New World’s first pope.

ALL EYES HAVE been on the Vatican since Pope Benedict XVI announced his surprise resignation last month.

Questions about who the new pontiff should be were mixed with discussions about where he should come from. Many believed the conclave would elect someone from the so-called New World, where the Roman Catholic Church has a growing faithful.

But few expected that yesterday would bring about so many ‘firsts’. The first pontiff from the Americas. The first Jesuit papacy. The first Pope Francis. And, most significantly for some, the first Argentine pope.

Argentina is a predominantly Catholic nation but few expected the result of the conclave. As Jorge Mario Bergoglio stepped out on the balcony overlooking St Peter’s Square, a large crowd gathered outside a cathedral in Buenos Aires began waving flags, singing songs and weeping for their countryman.

The result was also met with joy across other South American nations. Here is a snapshot of the emotions that were on display last night…

Paola La Rocca celebrates in Buenos Aires as she hears that her fellow Argentine Jorge Bergoglio has been chosen as the next pontiff. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

And from cheers to tears at the Metropolitan Cathedral. It all becomes too much for Paola as she breaks down in tears at the news. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

There were also tears in New York. Sheelley Guadeloupe from Puerto Rico weeps at St Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue, where Roman Catholics gathered for the conclave announcement. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

The sense of wonder at the occasion was etched all over the face of this nun as white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel, indicating a new pope had been chosen. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Worshippers packed the Metropolitan Cathedral in Argentina's capital as citizens rejoiced in the news that their country was to have its first pontiff. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

Emotions were high in St Peter's Square at the Vatican, with some attending saying it was one of the best experiences of their lives. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

For some, the decision put them in the mood for solemn reflection. This man prays at the Baby Jesus Church in Bogota, Colombia. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

In Italy, clergy men celebrated. Here, the Bishop of Asti (where the new pope's family originated from) Francesco Ravinale gives his approval. (AP Photo / Massimo Pinca)

Flags were waved, songs were sung and shouts were heard across Argentina last night. Often, the celebrations were similar to those seen after a sporting victory. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

Pope Francis is the first pope ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

"Hail to the Pope" sign is raised on the election of the 266th pontiff in St Peter's Square. (AP Photo/Angelo Carconi)

A reader looks at the first edition of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano after the election of Pope Francis. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

In New York, Florencia Silva and Valentina Brunner, who are originally from Peru and Chile, listen to a cellphone live broadcast of the announcement of a new Pope. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

A quiet reaction from a nun as white smoke is seen over the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

A livelier Sister sings outside the Metropolitan Cathedral in Argentina. (AP Photo/Ivan Fernandez)

A more solemn response from two men in a cathedral in Managua, Nicaragua. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

Taking it all in: a girl minds her doll during a Mass in honour of the new pope in Asuncion City, Paraguay. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

President Higgins and Michael Noonan to attend Pope Francis’s inauguration

FRONT PAGES: Pope Francis dominates the new and old worlds’ newspapers

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