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Europe

Catholics from near and far gather in St Peter’s Square

© Amara Makhoul

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by Amara MAKHOUL

Latest update : 2013-03-13

The suspense is mounting in Rome’s Saint Peter's Square, where thousands of Catholic pilgrims from across the globe have gathered, waiting to find out who will be the next pope.

Thousands of Roman Catholic pilgrims and curious onlookers braved the cold rain outside Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome on Wednesday, hoping to be among the first to see the much-awaited white smoke spill out from a Sistine Chapel chimney–the Vatican’s sign to the world that a new pope has been elected.

The two columns of black smoke rising from the makeshift smokestack along with the dreary March showers dampened spirits down in the square just before noon on Wednesday.

Some of those gathered outside the famous basilica have come from thousands of miles away. They hope the conclave will end –and a new pontiff will announced– before they have to return home.

FRANCE 24 caught up with some of the people eagerly waiting for the white smoke to materialise. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most are not-so-secretly rooting for candidates from their own native land.

Date created : 2013-03-13

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