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What is the origin of the Vatican's white smoke when selecting a new Pope?

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black smoke when no result of the new Pope while white smoke when the new Pope selected, dating back to 1914.

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The origin of the Vatican's white smoke when electing a new Pope was in 1914. The smoke was to be produced so as to preserve secrecy where white smoke would be used to declare the winner. Read more at http://stmichaelsociety.com/2013/03/12/the-traditions-and-history-behind-the-white-smoke-over-the-vatican/.

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You can find a lot of info on the historical background here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conclave#Historical_development

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We now have telephones, internet and televisions. However, a 1,000 years ago, the general public was not so blessed. When a new Holy Father was chosen in Rome, the word was spread strictly through word of mouth. Vatican historian Ambrogio Piazzoni explains it this way: ?? [the Vatican] would just tell the town criers who would run through the city spreading the news that there was a new pope. The people would then rush to St. Peter?s and wait for the pope to come out onto the balcony for his first address? (Reuters, 4/19/05).

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This seems very simple but as cities expanded and Catholics all over the world grew in number, there probably weren?t enough townspeople to go yelling through the streets! Actually, Italy?s unfortunate history as a battleground for various invasions and eventual unification led to smoke being used to announce the new pope. In 1870, forces trying to unify Italy captured Rome and scaled down the Papal States to what is known as Vatican City today. An offended Pope Leo XII, the next pope to be elected after the battle, decided to snub the Italians and gave his papal address inside the Vatican instead of on the balcony of St. Peter?s. Ambrogio Piazzoni explains: ?They felt they were prisoners of Italy and didn?t want to recognize the violence suffered. But they had to tell the world it had a new pope so they invented this system of lighting a fire and letting the smoke speak.?



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white smoke = pope
black smoke = no pope

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cradhika
How is the smoke is generated?
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symbolically speaking ... since the birth of Saints Peter and Paul...

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