Mar 13, 2013 / 23:04 pm
Prayers and best wishes are being sent from the Knights of Columbus to Pope Francis upon his election today, March 13.
"The election of Pope Francis – the first pope from the American hemisphere – highlights the fact that America is the continent of baptized Christians, and a place of central importance to the faith today," the fraternal organization, with over 1 million members worldwide, stated.
"Pope Francis is well known also for his emphasis on charity – the first principle of the Knights of Columbus."
The Knights plan to work together with Pope Francis throughout his pontificate to further the mission of the Church.
"Both in our efforts for evangelization and in our charitable work, we will strive with him to bring the light of Christ to the people of our continent during his historic pontificate."
"Supreme Knight Carl Anderson and the 1.8 million members of the Knights of Columbus extend cordial best wishes and prayers to our newly elected pope."
Pope Francis, who was previously known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was elected on the fifth ballot, and was Archbishop of Buenos Aires prior to his election as Bishop of Rome. He is a member of the Society of Jesus, and is the first Pope to have been elected from that order, as well as the first Latin American Pope.
He greeted the crowds of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square shortly after 8:00 p.m., after spending time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in the Pauline Chapel.
Pope Francis will be inaugurated on March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph, at 9:30 a.m. in St. Peter's Square.