Habemus PapamMarch 13, 2013
To my Catholic readers: I know this is old news to you by now, but WE HAVE A POPE!
After Pope emeritus Benedict XVI resigned, we had several pope-less days and I was so excited to see a Twitter post proclaiming "Habemus Papam-- we have a Pope!" Then I got a text from Pope Alarm just a few seconds later (why yes, I did sign up to get a text for the big news!) and had the honor of being the first one to run around the house telling my family!
I don't remember much about Benedict's election so this week was, I think, the very first that I heard about the smoke tradition. The Cardinals vote on the Pope multiple times each day. After each set of votes, they light a fire and send smoke up the chimney of the Sistine Chapel. Black smoke signifies that they have not reached a decision, and white smoke means that they were led by the Holy Spirit, made a conclusive vote, and HABEMUS PAPAM!
We turned on EWTN (a Catholic channel, where you are much more likely to just get to see everything going on at the Vatican and not have to suffer through all the snide comments on how everyone thinks that they can be a better pope than the popes).
We basically sat there for an hour, watching the smoke and the crowds in the square of the basilica, praying for the new pope, and wondering who it is!
I of course grabbed my travel sketchbook and sat doodling. Lately I've been trying to be more decisive with my sketches, so these are all drawn directly with pen (no erasing mistakes) and then splashed with a bit of watercolor. (I recently discovered the epic Urban Sketchers' blog, and I'm surprised by how much these sketches are similar to their style!).
I think that the Swiss Guard are pretty awesome. I wish they'd shown more of them!
The wait was very very long... so I drew St. Peter's, a happy pilgrim girl who appeared on screen for about two seconds but was so picturesquely joyful, a clock that they kept filming, and some of the crowds. It's surprisingly difficult to draw things on TV; they sure don't keep the camera pointed in one direction all the time!
The excitement and prayerfulness of the crowd there was inspiring.
And finally, they announced the Pope! Francis I is from Argentina and looks like he will be a wonderful pope. He's a theologian and from the Americas and, judging by his speech, has a sense of humor. I'm excited, hopefully he'll be just as strong and totally epic as JPII and Benedict.
|(this is a REALLY rough translation that a friend shared on facebook; more polished ones are now online)|
I was impressed by his humble request for prayers before he even gave the Apostolic blessing.
He surprisingly didn't come out in the full garb with the red cloak; just the white habit and the stole (basically a prayer shawl but with deep symbolism).
(Here's the Altoids watercolor tin that I made several months ago if you were wondering how it's holding up! It works really well. Also, I found a waterbrush in Mom's scrapbook stash yesterday. It's pretty epic.)
I don't remember too much about the previous papal election. We were on a class trip to the state Capitol, and someone said something about the pope being sick during a tour of one of the offices. When I got home that day, Mom told me that John Paul II had passed away. Even though I'm racking my brains, I don't have any strong memories of Benedict's election. We just got a new pope and everything was as it should be. When you are in fourth grade, things seem to just work out like that and there is nothing remarkable in it.
Several months later (Jan 2006, judging by where this was in my old sketchbook) I drew a picture of JPII and then a quick sketch of Benedict XVI. It was only after JPII's death that I read encyclicals and books by him and his sucessor and the wisdom of these two saintly men has really strengthened my faith!
Let's pray for the new Pope Francis I and the entire church!