Preparations in place for Pope Francis' inaugural mass

By Rose Eclarinal, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Mar 19 2013 01:03 PM | Updated as of Mar 19 2013 09:03 PM

VATICAN CITY – Final checks and preparations are being made for the inaugural mass of the Petrine Ministry of the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis.

With heads of state, crown princes, heads of government, prime ministers and dignitaries expected to attend the inauguration, security measures are heightened.

Hundreds of thousands of Catholics are expected to descend on St. Peters Square, many are excited to be part of the historic event.

“Gusto ko po na mai-offer kay Pope Francis ang mga dalangin sa aking pamilya, ang kanilang kalusugan lalo sa nanay ko,” said an overseas Filipino worker named Zenaida.

“I will be close to him. I will see his gesture, his interacting with other people, that's important,” said a journalist from Munich, Mattias Drobnski.

The Vatican Press Office announced yesterday that Pope Francis will use the same coat of arms as the Bishop of Buenos Aires with symbols representing Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

The motto on his coat of arms is “miserando atque eligendo” which means "having had mercy, he called him."

For the Pope's papal ring or fisherman’s ring, he chose the same ring of Pope Paul VI, which bears the image of St. Peter with the keys. It is made of silver and gold.

About 132 countries have confirmed their attendance. The main religious delegations expected to attend are those representing Christian and ecclesial communities, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslims and Sikh.