Loggia of the Blessings on the night of the election of Pope Saint John Paul II
The anniversary of John Paul II’s election to the papacy falls this year on the centenary of his birth: two events celebrated by Churches around the world. The Vatican Publishing House and the Osservatore Romano preserve the memorable moments of that unforgettable evening of 16 October 1978.
October 16, 1978, 42 years ago, was a Monday. It was already dark when, at 6.18 p.m., white smoke billowed out from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, after black smoke had risen seven times before.