There was an image during yesterday's papal election that will forever stay with Bishop Richard J. Grecco of the Diocese of Charlottetown.
It wasn't the white smoke billowing from the Sistine Chapel's chimney, or the tens of thousands of faithful crowded into St. Peter's Square.
Rather, it was a small gesture the 76-year-old Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio made when he addressed the crowd after being named head of the Roman Catholic Church.
"I have never seen a newly elected pope bow before the people and ask for their blessing before giving them his own blessing," said Grecco. "To me, that says volumes about his ability to work with people and his respect for people."
The former Archbishop of Buenos Aires has been known for his traditional religious theology, as well as for his modesty.
Bergoglio, the 266th pontiff in the church's 2,000 year history, cooks his own meals, takes public transit and comes from a humble working-class background.
He is the first Jesuit to be selected pope, as well as the first non-European in more than 1,000 years.
He'll also be the first pope from the Americas, a fact that has many priests happy, said Grecco.
"It's magnificent we finally have someone from the Americas, and he's coming from South America," said Grecco, noting that many of the church's members now live in South America rather than Europe.
Bergoglio had been a frontrunner during the last papal election. However, his name wasn't mentioned as much this time around when compared to Canadian Marc Ouellet, Brazilian Odilo Scherer and Italian Angelo Scola.
And with no clear front runner, the thought that Roman Catholic cardinals would elect Bergoglio during the fifth ballot on Wednesday was unexpected by many.
"I have to say, what a surprise," said Grecco, adding the emotion was mixed with joy and gratitude. "He wasn't on the lists of any of the experts... God's grace works in ways we can't predict."
"I have never seen a newly elected pope bow before the people and ask for their blessing before giving them his own blessing," - Bishop Richard J. Grecco
He'll be known simply as Pope Francis, without the roman numeral, after one of the church's most revered saints.
Rev. Robert Coady of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Cornwall had watched the event unfold with three other priests during their day off.
"We were absolutely excited by it," said Coady.
While a couple of them had hoped for Ouellet and another thought it would be Scherer, no one could argue with the final choice, said Coady.
"We're all very pleased. This is a man who is with the poor," he said. "This man would not drive in limousines or anything like that. He lived with the poor and worked for the poor.
"The Lord, God and the Holy Spirit have done a great job in the choice of a wonderful, humble man."
The new pope took his name from the humble Italian saint, St. Francis of Assisi.
Grecco said while many Canadians were hoping for Ouellet to be named pope, the cardinals' decision has marked a joyous occasion for the church.
"From a faith point of view, the Catholic people put their trust in God's grace," said Grecco. "I'm sure Cardinal Ouellet is as happy as the rest of Canadians with this choice."
Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires in 1936 and entered the Society of Jesus in 1958.
He spent almost is entire career in Argentina teaching and also served as the country's Jesuit provincial in the 1970s.
He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 before becoming cardinal in 2001.