Fifth Ballot : White smoke (Fumata bianca). A new Pope has been elected. Habemus Papam!

Habemus Papam! We have a Pope!


Fourth Ballot : No smoke appeared on chimney. A new Pope has not been elected yet

Yet another wait as the fourth ballot was not successful to elect a new Pope yet. If the fourth ballot had seen a new Pope elected as in 2005, the smoke would have appeared from the chimney above the Sistine Chapel, and it will be white.

Now we are waiting for the fifth and the last ballot of the day. The smoke will be appearing very soon. Keep on praying!

‘Holy’ Seagull on the Chimney of Sistine Chapel


Here is an image of the seagull that perches itself on top of the famous chimney from where the smoke signal will appear whether the new Pope had been elected or not.

The Holy Spirit? maybe, though I think dove would be an appropriate form, but well, one thing I am sure, that God is watching and inspiring all of His Cardinal-electors through the Holy Spirit!

Time to watch for smoke from the Sistine Chapel chimney


These are the times to watch the smoke from the Sistine Chapel’s famous chimney.

As mentioned :

1. First and third ballot of the day will only have smoke if the Pope has been elected. This smoke will always be white.


2. Second and fourth ballot of the day will always have smoke, and can either be black or white.

a. Black smoke : no Pope has been elected

b. White smoke : a new Pope has been elected


3. 45 minutes will pass between the white smoke, and the appearance of the Cardinal Protodeacon, who will announce the Habemus Papam, which will reveal the name of the newly elected Pope, then another 15 minutes will likely pass before the new Pope made his appearance.

Third Ballot : Black smoke from the chimney of Sistine Chapel. No Pope had been elected yet.


At around 11.45 am in the morning on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 in Rome, black smoke poured out of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, slightly earlier than predicted. Therefore, as of the third ballot we do not have a new Pope elected yet.

Be prepared for the fourth ballot, since it is just possible that in that ballot a new Pope will be elected, since if there is a clear candidate that is worthy of election, the Cardinal-electors may converge on him, and the election may occur at the fourth ballot, if not then the fifth ballot.

Keep praying for our Cardinal-electors!

Second Ballot : No smoke. No Pope had been elected yet

As there was no ‘early’ smoke on Wednesday morning, 13 March 2013 in Rome, it is safe to assume that no Pope had been elected in the second ballot. This is because, instead of the usual 2 ballots per session then burn the ballots of both together at the end (session = morning/afternoon), if a Pope is elected on the first of these two ballots, the second ballot will obviously not take place, and thus, the smoke will be early, and will definitely also be white.

This was also the early sign that a Pope had been elected in 2005, when the afternoon smoke went early (this was after the fourth ballot, first of two afternoon ballots) at near 6 pm Rome time, when the smoke, which should have been later if no Pope was elected.

It may be more likely that the white smoke will appear after the third ballot, or the fourth ballot.

Watch live at :

A Timetable of the First Day of Conclave

What will happen today in the first day of the Conclave (Tuesday, 12 March 2013)? All the time noted below are in Rome time (CET, Central European Time, 1 hour ahead of UTC (UTC+1)).

Some event are live from Vatican Player at and the live recording from Rome Reports :


1. (Live) Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff / Missa pro Eligendo Pontifice : 10 am. This Mass will officially begin the Conclave and will be offered for prayers for the election of the Pope.

2. Cardinal-electors leave the Domus Sancta Marthae where they stay for the Pauline Chapel : 3.45 pm

3. (Live) Cardinal-electors begin the procession into Sistine Chapel from Pauline Chapel, while singing Veni Creator Spiritus and the Litany of the Saints : 4.30 pm

4. (Live) Oath of secrecy by the Cardinal-electors and the extra omnes order by Monsignor Guido Marini : 4.45 pm, then meditation by Cardinal Prosper Grech of Malta (2nd meditation)

5. Conclave and first ballot : about 5 pm – 7 pm, smoke should appear between 7-8 pm Rome time. If white, means a new Pope has been elected, but this is unlikely to happen. (Smoke and the chimney can be seen live through either Vatican Player or Rome Reports page I mentioned above)

6. Vespers celebrated by the Cardinal-electors : 7.15 pm

7. Cardinal-electors return to Domus Sancta Marthae, their residence during the period of the Conclave : 7.30 pm


These are just rough timing, and as this is the first ballot, the Cardinal-electors may still need time, especially the first-timers, in getting used to the rules and proceedings of the Conclave and thus might be delayed slightly.