Catholics around the world saw the white smoke on Wednesday, as Pope Francis I was named the successor of Pope Benedict XVI.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, of Argentina, will be taking the name of Francis, and in Port Jefferson, a member of the local clergy likewise named Francis – the Rev. Francis Lasrado, associate priest at Infant Jesus Roman Catholic Church – reacted to the news.
"I'm personally happy he took my name," Lasrado said with a laugh.
He went on to speak about the person the name comes from, St. Francis of Assisi: "I think in the modern world, with so much sophistication and what not, to take the name of a person who was a great saint is a model for the modern generation. He was a man of such simplicity with a love for nature, animals and human beings.
"I think this symbolizes the new tone people are going to take, hopefully."
The pope is the first leader of the Catholic Church to take the name Francis, as well as the first from Latin America.
Known in Argentina for living a very humble life-style, Pope Francis has been known for residing in a small apartment, preparing his own meals and refusing the cardinal's limo in favor of public transportation. He is also the first ever Jesuit pope.
"Cardinal Bergoglio had a special place in his heart and his ministry for the poor, for the disenfranchised, for those living on the fringes and facing injustice," Vatican deputy spokesman Thomas Rosica told CNN.
Lasrado said he hopes that is a direction the entire church takes heed of. A native of India himself, Lasrado said that the decision to choose a head of the church from outside of Europe, with a different perspective, was a step in the right direction.
"I earnestly hope that's a direction are taking: reaching out to the poor, rather than one section of the population ... And I think it's a good thing that the cardinals have shown they are not sticking to a lot of things that have been done so far, and moving out of traditional things."
Pope Francis told the world's 1.2 billion Catholics the following in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday: "Let's begin this long road from the bishop of Rome to the people. Let us all behave with love and charity. Let us go along this road of fraternity and faith in ourselves. Let us pray always not just for ourselves, but for everyone in the world because there is a great brotherhood among us."