Pope Francis waves to crowds as he arrives to his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
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Pope Francis Blesses Man in Wheelchair
Pope Francis thrilled tens of thousands of people on Tuesday gathered for his installation Mass, taking a long round-about through St. Peter's Square and getting out of his jeep to bless a disabled man in a wheelchair in the crowd.
Pope Francis issued an appeal for the protection of the weak, the poor and the world environment Tuesday at a special Mass marking his installation as the new leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics. Take a look at highlights of the day's events.
Among the thousands of people who were at the Vatican on Tuesday morning for the installation of Pope Francis is U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro.
“I was honored to be a part of today’s historic ceremony, which was a beautiful and moving occasion. I was personally inspired as Pope Francis, like his namesake Saint Francis of Assissi, expressed his commitment to renewing the Church’s emphasis on helping the least fortunate in society. This is particularly important as people everywhere continue to struggle against worldwide hunger and poverty,” DeLauro said.
As former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bargoglio was installed as the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, DeLauro was at the Vatican as part of a bipartisan congressional delegation representing the United States, including Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA).
Pope Francis urged people in attendance, to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest, mapping out a clear focus of his priorities as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.
"Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be 'protectors' of creation, protectors of God's plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment," Francis said in a homily.
Pope Francis is taking over as the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics during the Lenten season for the church.
“This is a time of celebration and I join Catholics worldwide in welcoming His Holiness Pope Francis I to his new role as the leader of our Church,” DeLauro said in a statement.