Pope named after Francis of Assisi heralded by gull atop Sistine chimney

David Batty
The Guardian, Wednesday 13 March 2013 17.05 EDT

Newly appointed pontiff Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes name of Catholic friar portrayed as nature lover – and preacher to birds

Gull on Sistine Chapel chimney

A gull lingers on the Sistine Chapel chimney during the cardinals’ conclave at the Vatican on Wednesday. Photograph: Reuters

The dove has traditionally represented the Holy Spirit but it was a bird with a rather less divine reputation that heralded the name of the new pope. As the crowds massed in front of the Vatican, a seagull alighted on the chimney from which smoke billows to indicate the outcome of the papal ballot in the Sistine Chapel below.

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