March 19 - Pope Francis delighted thousands of Argentines who gathered to watch his inaugural mass by calling home and asking for them to pray for him. Deborah Gembara reports.
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It didn't matter that they had to get up in the middle of the night. Or that the event was taking places thousands of miles away.
Argentines jammed Buenos Aire's Plaza de Mayo, determined not to let the inaugural Mass of the first Latin American pope pass without notice, especially since he's one if their own.
SOUNDBITE: homemaker Mariana O'Connor saying:
We are so happy to have an Argentine pope who is humble, calm, intelligent and concerned about everyone. I think that there are going to be big changes in the country. I think that he is going to transmit peace and harmony which is what we Argentines need. It is truly emotional to be here."
Their efforts were rewarded by a phone call at around 330 am from Pope Francis himself. He thanked them for their support and asked that they pray for him.
Father Jose Dia Paola, a friend of the former bishop says affection for the new pontiff runs deep in Argentina --- especially among the poor.
SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRIEST AND FRIEND OF POPE FRANCIS, JOSE MARIA DI PAOLA, SAYING:
"It's very emotional for us to see from the Plaza de Mayo, our pastor who was with us in the slums, not in the Cathedral but in the Vatican."
Pope Francis, a 76-year-old Jesuit priest know for his humility, inherits a church mired in scandal much of it concerns sexual abuse of minors and associated cover-ups.
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