VATICAN CITY - A man of many firsts, Pope Francis spent part of his first full day celebrating Mass with the cardinals who elected him.
When Jorge Bergoglio stepped onto the balcony at the Vatican on Wednesday evening to reveal himself as the new leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, he made history as the first non-European pope of the modern era, the first from Latin America, the first Jesuit and the first to assume the name Francis.
Thursday will be low-key.
Francis began the day by praying at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, a place of special significance for the Jesuits. The Mass with the cardinals took place at the Sistine Chapel.
His next public appearance is likely to be Sunday.
The new pontiff will "very probably" say Mass at St. Peter's and then deliver the traditional Angelus blessing, said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman.
But it won't be until Tuesday that Francis will be formally installed as pope.
That's by design. The day coincides with the Feast of St. Joseph, the patron saint of Italy.
As pope, Francis takes the helm of a Roman Catholic Church that has been rocked in recent years by sex abuse by priests, and claims of corruption and infighting among the church hierarchy.
Reflecting the urgency of those concerns, a group representing the alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests has written an open letter to Pope Francis requesting a meeting.
"Your predecessor met only a few times with a few carefully chosen victims in tightly choreographed settings, as he visited nations where this crisis had reached a fever pitch," the letter from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests states.
"We write today seeking a different kind of meeting -- one in which our respective organizations -- yours, huge and struggling, and ours, small and struggling -- can begin to work together to safeguard children across the globe."
Pope Francis called Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on the phone Wednesday night, and will visit him at Castel Gandolfo at some point soon, but not in the next couple of days, Lombardi said.
The new pontiff will meet with all the cardinals, not just those who were eligible to vote for him, on Friday and will hold an audience with the media on Saturday, Lombardi said.
The 76-year-old, who served as the archbishop of Buenos Aires, is the first pope to take the name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, revered among Catholics for his work with the poor.
The pontiff is considered a straight shooter who calls things as he sees them, and a follower of the church's most social conservative wing.
As a cardinal, he clashed with the government of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner over his opposition to gay marriage and free distribution of contraceptives.
He was runner-up in the 2005 papal conclave, behind then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
The new pope brings together the first and the developing worlds. Latin America is home to 480 million Catholics.
By choosing him, the cardinals sent a strong message about where the future of the church may lie.
Francis' first public appearance as pope -- when he appealed for the crowds to pray for him before he gave a blessing -- suggested a "different pastoral style" in comparison with the more academic approach of Benedict, said Lombardi.
Francis is someone who has had "a day-to-day link with the population and ordinary people" during his many years at the head of a large diocese in Buenos Aires, he said.
He also sought to dampen concerns prompted by media reports that the new pope has only one lung.
Although Francis had part of one lung removed when he was a young man, the whole lung was not removed and the new pope is in good health, Lombardi said.
CNN iReporter Cesar Sotolongo in Lima, Peru, said the election of a Latin American pope, particularly from the Jesuit order, marked "a new chapter" for the Catholic Church.
Originally from Florida, Sotolongo also has his own advice for Francis: "The pope should shape the church with what he has been doing during his career (as an example)," he said. "Stay in contact with the people, communicate clearly, promote the unification of faith and ... represent the word of Jesus."
A JESUIT POPE
Born in Buenos Aires to an Italian immigrant father, Francis is known for his simplicity.
Details given by Lombardi on Thursday of Francis' first hours as pope reinforce that impression.
Francis stood, rather than sitting on a throne, to receive the oath of allegiance from his fellow cardinals after his election, and for his appearance on the balcony wore just a white cassock and a simple cross, eschewing gold or jewels, Lombardi said.
Also, on the ride back from the Sistine Chapel to the Santa Marta residence, he declined the papal car that had been prepared for him and instead took the bus with other cardinals, Lombardi said.
And Francis toasted the other cardinals at dinner, joking, "May God forgive you for what you have done," Lombardi said.