The new leader of the Catholic church will be known as Pope Francis the First. The name that was chosen, Francis, was a saint known for his humility.
The name also hits home for parishioners and Monsignor Craig Harrison of Bakersfield's St. Francis Church. Monsignor Harrison said he was surprised when news broke about who was chosen as the new leader. But, he says Pope Francis' humble background, where he is from, and being from the Jesuit Order, speaks volumes.
"The one thing that has always stuck with this man was his humility and his simplicity of his life. He rides the bus to work," said Monsignor Harrison.
And, that is why the new pope chose Francis as his name.
"Francis, whom our parish is named after, was, is always and has been known as the saint of the poor. His whole ministry was that of humility and service of the poor. We were even doubly excited he picked this name Francis," added Monsignor Harrison.
Pope Francis is also the first pontiff from South America, a region that holds nearly 40 percent of the church's followers.
"We were thrilled and couldn't wait to see him come out to the balcony. For us, it was definitely a sweet surprise and a moment of great pride," said Liliana Barcella, who is from Argentina.
The Bishop of the Diocese of Fresno, which includes Bakersfield, is excited by the new pope and how Pope Francis broke tradition during his first appearance, signaling that change is here.
"One of the first acts was he asked in Italian, for the blessing of the people of Rome. What a beautiful way of saying we are all in this together. I think we are off to a wonderful start. What a hard act to follow," said Bishop Armando Ochoa, Diocese of Fresno.
Monsignor Harrison will hold a special mass at St. Francis Church this Friday at 5 p.m. to celebrate the new pope.