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The announcement is given from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. After the announcement, the new pope is presented to the people and he gives his first Urbi et Orbi blessing.
The format for the announcement when a cardinal is elected Pope is:
Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum:
Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum,
Dominum [prænomen] Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem [nomen],
Qui sibi nomen imposuit [Nomen pontificale].
In English, it can be literally translated as:
I announce to you a great joy.
We have a Pope!
The Most Eminent and Reverend Lord,
Lord [First Name], Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church [surname],
Who takes to himself the name [papal regnal name].
In the Habemus Papam announcement given by Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estévez on 19 April 2005 upon the election of Pope Benedict XVI, the announcement was preceded by a greeting in several languages:
"Fear not, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
The adoption of this formula is dated from the election of Odo Colonna as Pope Martin V (1417), who was chosen as the new pope by the cardinals and representatives from different countries at the Council of Constance. In this context, prior to Martin V, there were three claimants to the papal throne: Antipope John XXIII (who had called for the council, and appointed most of the cardinal electors), Antipope Benedict XIII (the only one to have been named cardinal before the outbreak of the Western Schism) and Pope Gregory XII. The first two were deposed by the Council itself, and Gregory XII abdicated after formally convoking the already convened council and authorizing its acts including the act of electing his successor. Two years after the first two contenders were deposed[a] and the resignation of the third, the council elected the new pope. The announcement, therefore, could be interpreted as: "(Finally) we have a pope (and only one!) ".
The adoption of the Habemus Papam formula took place prior to 1484, the year when it was used to announce the election of Giovanni Battista Cybo, who took the name of Innocent VIII.
In announcing the name of the newly elected pontiff, the new pontiff's birth first name is announced in Latin in the accusative case (e.g., Eugenium, Angelum Iosephum, Ioannem Baptistam, Albinum, Carolum, Iosephum, Georgium Marium), but the new pontiff's surname is said in the undeclined form (e.g., Pacelli, Roncalli, Montini, Luciani, Wojtyła, Ratzinger, Bergoglio). The new papal name is usually given in the genitive case in Latin, corresponding to the translation "who takes the name of ..." (e.g., Ioannis vigesimi tertii, Ioannis Pauli primi etc.), although it can also be declined in the accusative case, corresponding to the translation "who takes the name ...", as was the case in 1963 and 2013 when Pope Paul VI's and Pope Francis's regnal names were announced as Paulum sextum and Franciscum respectively. In the situation where the name is declined in the genitive, the name is considered as a complement of the noun "nomen" while in the instance where the name is declined in the accusative, it is considered as an apposition of the direct object complement nomen in the accusative. Both forms are equally correct. According to certain Latin grammarians though, like Nicola Fiocchini, Piera Guidotti Bacci and the Maiorum Lingua Manual, the accusative is the more correct form.
During the announcement of Pope Paul VI's election, protodeacon Alfredo Ottaviani used the conjunction et (which also means "and") instead of ac, the word usually used for "and" within the formula (he said Eminentissimum et reverendissimum instead of Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum).
During the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI's election, his regnal name was declined by Cardinal Medina in the genitive case (he said Benedicti decimi sexti), but in the Holy See website, the page announcing his election with a copy of the Habemus Papam formula has Benedict's regnal name declined in the accusative case (i.e., Benedictum XVI)
If a papal name is used for the first time, the announcement may or may not use the numeral the first. In John Paul I's election, the numeral primi (the first) was used (Cardinal Pericle Felici announced the papal name as Ioannis Pauli primi) but in Pope Francis' election, no numeral was uttered (Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran simply gave the papal name as Franciscum).
The numeral in the papal name if it exists can be omitted if the new regnal name is the same as the one used by the immediate predecessor as was the case in October 1978 when Pope John Paul II's regnal name was announced simply as Ioannis Pauli without the numeral since his immediate predecessor was Pope John Paul I. It also happened in 1939 when Pope Pius XII's regnal name, following his election, was announced simply as Pium since his immediate predecessor was Pope Pius XI. In the announcement of Pope Pius XII's election, his regnal name was declined in the accusative like the later announcements for Paul VI's and Francis' elections.
The following are examples of how the names were announced as noted on existing videos and recordings. The case and inclusion or exclusion of numeral for the papal names are noted.
|Birth name||Birth name
As announced in Latin
(accusative case forename
|Papal name||Papal name
As announced in Latin
of Papal name
in papal name
|Eugenio Pacelli||Eugenium Pacelli||Pius XII||Pium||accusative||not given|
|Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli||Angelum Iosephum Roncalli||John XXIII||Ioannis vigesimi tertii||genitive||given|
|Giovanni Battista Montini||Ioannem Baptistam Montini||Paul VI||Paulum sextum||accusative||given|
|Albino Luciani||Albinum Luciani||John Paul I||Ioannis Pauli primi||genitive||given|
|Karol Wojtyła||Carolum Wojtyła||John Paul II||Ioannis Pauli ||genitive||not given|
|Joseph Ratzinger||Iosephum Ratzinger||Benedict XVI||Benedicti decimi sexti||genitive||given|
|Jorge Mario Bergoglio||Georgium Marium Bergoglio||Francis||Franciscum||accusative||none|
Evolution of the formula
From the beginning, the "Habemus Papam" formula did not follow a strict model but varied in considerable form for many years. Here are some examples of the announcement in the course of its history:
or Senior Cardinal Deacon present
|August 29, 1484||Francesco Piccolomini||Giovanni Battista Cibo – elected Innocent VIII||Annuncio vobis gaudium magnum: Papam habemus. Reverendissimus Dominus cardinalis Melfictensis electus est in summum pontificem et elegit sibi nomen Innocentium Octavum:|
|November 1, 1503||Raffaele Sansoni Riario||Giuliano della Rovere – elected Julius II||Papam habemus Reverendissimum Dominum Cardinalem Sancti Petri ad Vincula, qui vocatur Julius Secundus|
|March 11, 1513||Alessandro Farnese||Giovanni de Medici – elected Leo X
Note: Cardinal protodeacon at time of election
|Gaudium magnum nuntio vobis! Papam habemus, Reverendissimum Dominum Johannem de Medicis, Diaconum Cardinalem Sanctae Mariae in Domenica, qui vocatur Leo Decimus|
|October 13, 1534||Innocenzo Cibo||Alessandro Farnese – elected Paul III||Annuncio vobis gaudium magnum: Papam habemus Reverendissimum Dominum Alexandrum Episcopum Hostiensem, Cardinalem de Farnesio nuncupatum, qui imposuit sibi nomen Paulus Tertius|
|September 15, 1644||Francesco Barberini||Giovanni Battista Pamphili – elected Innocent X||Annuncio vobis gaudium magnum, habemus Papam Eminentissimum et Reverendissimum Dominum Johannem Baptistum Pamphilium, qui sibi nomen imposuit Innocentium Decimum|
|April 7, 1655||Giangiacomo Teodoro Trivulzio||Fabio Chigi – elected Alexander VII||Annuncio vobis gaudium magnum: Papam habemus Eminentissimum et Reverendissimum Dominum Fabium Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Presbyterum Cardinalem Chisium, qui elegit sibi nomen Alexandrum Septimum|
|September 21, 1676||Francesco Maidalchini||Benedetto Odeschalchi – elected Innocent XI||Annuncio vobis gaudium magnum: Papam habemus Reverendissimum Benedictum Titulo Sancti Honufrii Cardinalem Odeschalcum, qui sibi nomen imposuit Innocentium Undecimum|
|May 8, 1721||Benedetto Pamphili||Michelangelo Conti – elected Innocent XIII||Annuncio vobis gaudium magnii: Papam habemus. Eminentissimum et Reverendissimum Dominum Michaelem Angelum Tituli Sanctorum Quirici et Iulitta Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Presbyterum Cardinalem de Comitibus, qui sibi nomen imposuit Innocentius Tertius Decimus|
|May 29, 1724||Benedetto Pamphili||Vincenzo Maria Orsini – elected Pope Benedict XIII||Annuncio vobis gaudium magnum: Papam habemus: Eminentissimum et Reverendissimum Dominum Fratrem Vincentium Mariam Cardinalem Ursinum Episcopum Portuensem, qui sibi nomen imposuit Benedictus Tertius Decimus|
|February 15, 1775||Alessandro Albani||Giovanni Angelo Braschi – elected Pope Pius VI||Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Papam habemus! Eminentissimum et reverendissimum Dominum Ioannem Angelum, tituli Sancti Onuphrii Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Presbyterum Cardinalem Braschi, qui sibi nomen imposuit Pius Sextus|
|September 28, 1823||Fabrizio Ruffo||Annibale Della Genga – elected Pope Leo XII||Annuncio vobis gaudium magnum: papam habemus, eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum Annibalem, tituli Sanctae Mariae Transtiberim, presbyterum Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae cardinalem Della Genga, qui sibi imposuit nomen Leo Duodecimus|
|February 2, 1831||Giuseppe Albani||Mauro Cappellari – elected Pope Gregory XVI||Annuncio vobis gaudium magnum : Papam habemus! Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum Maurum Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Presbyterum tituli sancti Calysti Cardinalem Cappellari, qui sibi nomen imposuit Gregorium Sextum Decimum|
|June 16, 1846||Tommaso Riario Sforza||Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti – elected Pope Pius IX||Annuncio vobis gaudium magnum: Papam habemus! Eminentissimum et Reverendissimum Dominum Ioannem Mariam Mastai Ferretti, Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Presbyterum Cardinalem, qui sibi nomen imposuit Pius Nonus|
|March 2, 1939||Camillo Caccia Dominioni||Eugenio Pacelli – elected Pope Pius XII||Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Habemus Papam! Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Eugenium Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem Pacelli, qui sibi nomen imposuit Pium|
|October 28, 1958||Nicola Canali||Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli – elected Pope John XXIII||Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Habemus Papam! Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Angelum Iosephum Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem Roncalli, qui sibi nomen imposuit Ioannis Vigesimi Tertii|
|June 21, 1963||Alfredo Ottaviani||Giovanni Battista Montini – elected Pope Paul VI||Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Habemus Papam! Eminentissimum et reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Ioannem Baptistam Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem Montini, qui sibi nomen imposuit Paulum Sextum|
|August 26, 1978||Pericle Felici||Albino Luciani – elected Pope John Paul I||Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Habemus Papam! Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Albinum Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem Luciani, qui sibi nomen imposuit Ioannis Pauli Primi|
|October 16, 1978||Pericle Felici||Karol Wojtyła – elected Pope John Paul II||Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Habemus Papam! Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Carolum Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem Wojtyła, qui sibi nomen imposuit Ioannis Pauli|
|April 19, 2005||Jorge Medina Estévez||Joseph Ratzinger – elected Pope Benedict XVI||Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Habemus Papam! Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Iosephum Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem Ratzinger, qui sibi nomen imposuit Benedicti Decimi Sexti|
|March 13, 2013||Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran||Jorge Mario Bergoglio – elected Pope Francis||Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Habemus Papam! Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Georgium Marium Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem Bergoglio, qui sibi nomen imposuit Franciscum|
List of cardinals who have given the announcement
This is a list of Cardinal Deacons who have given the Habemus Papam announcement:
- Jesuit professor Norman Tanner claims that Antipope John XXIII actually resigned but under pressure.
- Richard Henry Clarke's book about Leo XIII claims that Prospero Caterini made the announcement and Salvador Miranda's entry on Cardinal Caterini at The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church website mentions Caterini as having given the announcement but Francis Burkle-Young claims that Caterini started to make the announcement but was incapable of completing the formula and was ultimately assisted in delivering the news by Bartolomeo Grassi-Landi, a non-cardinal and the conclavist of Cardinal Luigi Oreglia di Santo Stefano
- NBC News Coverage of the Election of Pope Benedict XVI YouTube. Accessed February 2, 2013
- 19 Aprile 2005 – Elezione di Papa Benedetto XVI YouTube. Accessed March 16, 2013
- "Origins of the 'Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: habemus papam". News.va Official Vatican Network – Vatican Radio. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
- Habemus Papam – Pope Pius XII. YouTube. Accessed on December 21, 2012.
- Habemus Papam! – Pope Pio XII. YouTube. Accessed on March 17, 2013.
- Habemus Papam Pope Pius XII. YouTube. Accessed on October 10, 2013
- Election of Pope John XXIII. YouTube. Accessed March 24, 2013
- Elezione Papa Paolo VI (1963) . YouTube. Accessed on December 22, 2012.
- Un'opera che continua Edizione straordinaria. YouTube. Accessed on March 16, 2012.
- John Paul I Election and First Blessing. YouTube. Accessed on March 16, 2012.
- RAIStoria Elezione Giovanni Paolo II. YouTube. Accessed on March 16, 2012.
- Announcement of John Paul II becoming Pope October 1978 . YouTube. Accessed on March 16, 2012.
- http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/elezione/index_en.htm Holy See website on Francis' election. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- Habemus Papam, Franciscus. YouTube. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- The following note was in the Italian Wikipedia: La forma corretta è quella con l’accusativo. Il complemento di denominazione latino si comporta come l’apposizione: ha lo stesso caso del nome a cui si riferisce. Nel caso della formula papale concorda con nomen in caso accusativo. Si vedano le grammatiche latine nella voce “apposizione”. Un esempio: Nicola Flocchini, Piera Guidotti Bacci, Marco Moscio, Maiorum Lingua Manuale, Bompiani per la scuola, Milano 2007, pag.309. Which translates as the following: "The correct form is the accusative. The complement to the Latin name acts like an apposition: it has the same case as the name/noun being referenced. In the case of the papal formula it agrees with nomen in the accusative case. See the Latin grammars on "apposition" like for example: Nicola Flocchini, Piera Guidotti Bacci, Marco Moscio, Maiorum Lingua Manuale, Bompiani per la scuola, Milano 2007 page 309.
- http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/elezione/index_en.htm Holy See website on Benedict XVI's election. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- L. Thuasne (red.), Johannis Burchardi Argentinensis Diarium sive Rerum Urbanum commentarii, Vol. I, Paris 1883, pp. 62–63.
- Giovanni Battista Gattico, Acta Selecta Caremonialia Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae. Tomus I, Rome 1753, p. 309.
- Herbert Vaughan, The Medici popes : Leo X and Clement VII, London 1908, p. 108.
- Giovanni Battista Gattico, Acta Selecta Caremonialia Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae. Tomus I, Rome 1753, p. 328.
- Herman, Eleanor (2009). Królowa Watykanu (in Polish). Warszawa: Wydawnictwo JEDEN ŚWIAT. p. 139. ISBN 978-83-89632-45-6.
- Giovanni Battista Gattico, Acta Selecta Caremonialia Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae. Tomus I, Rome 1753, p. 359.
- Giovanni Battista Gattico, Acta Selecta Caremonialia Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae. Tomus I, Rome 1753, p. 361.
- Relazione della morte ... Clemente XI., Venice 1721, no. 11, pp. 9–10.
- Diario ordinaro, Rome, Numero 1065 of May 31, 1724, p. 7.
- Revue des questions historiques, Paris, tome 7 (1892), p. 451.
- Artaud de Montor, Histoire du Pape Léon XII., vol. 1, Paris 1843, p. 79.
- Gaetano Moroni, Dizionario Di Erudizione Storico-Ecclesiastica. Vol. XV, Venice 1842, p. 317.
- Maurizio Marocco, Storia di papa Pio IX., Torino 1856, p. 158.
- Richard Henry Clarke. The life of His Holiness Pope Leo XIII ...: together with extracts from his pastorals and encyclicals.
- "Caterini, Prospero". Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church.
- Francis A. Burkle-Young. Papal Elections in the Age of Transition, 1878–1922.