Pope Francis Begins First Full Day With Prayer in Rome
On his first full day as pontiff, Pope Francis is displaying his well-known humility. He stopped by his hotel to pick up his luggage -- and paid the bill himself.
The former archbishop of Buenos Aires began his first day as pope making an early morning visit in a simple Vatican car to a Roman basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary. There, he prayed before an icon of the Madonna.
Yesterday, he told a crowd of some 100,000 people in St. Peter's Square that he would pray to the Madonna "that she may watch over all of Rome."
He also told cardinals that he would call on the retired Pope Benedict -- but the Vatican says that visit won't take place for a few days.
The main item on the new pope's schedule today is an inaugural Mass in the Sistine Chapel, where cardinals elected him yesterday as leader of the church. He might be expected to outline some of his priorities as pope during his homily.
Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner says he's turning town President Barack Obama's invitation to be in the U.S. delegation to the installation of Pope Francis.
The Ohio Republican says in a statement that he'd like to go, but it's impossible with his duties including the budget debate and hosting the Irish prime minister at the Capitol.
Vice President Joe Biden, the first Roman Catholic to be elected vice president, is leading the delegation. Boehner's office said that after Obama spoke to House Republicans Wednesday, the president invited Boehner, who is Catholic, to accompany Biden.
Boehner says he is grateful for the invitation. He wished the vice president well and said he hopes Biden will send prayers and warm regards from all Americans, especially Catholics, to the first pope from the Americas. (AP)