Organization releases ‘Pope Alarm' to alert about new pope

VATICAN CITY - Many people rely on alarms to get them up in the morning, but a new alarm is hoping to notify you of history in Vatican City.

The "Pope Alarm" is a service that will send you a text message or email alerting you when the new pope has been elected. The alarm, which is available at, promises that "when the smoke goes up, you'll know what's going down."

The alarm is a service from FOCUS, a fellowship of Catholic university students. The organization released the alarm on March 8.

"The election of the pope is one of the most exciting events in the history of the Church. We want everyone to be able to experience the event live," said Kevin Cotter, Director of Web for FOCUS, in a news release. "It is possible that someone would be sleeping or engaged in another activity and not know of the election. Unlike past elections, we currently have the technology to alert you about the pope's election and our service can alert you right away, wherever you are."

FOCUS staff will be monitoring news from the Vatican 24 hours a day to ensure subscribers receive an alert as soon as white smoke indicates the election of the pope. Also, there are "Pope Alarm" Twitter and Facebook accounts, which can inform you about papal updates, too.

The conclave to elect the new pope begins Tuesday in the Vatican. The first puffs of smoke should emerge sometime around 8 p.m. Tuesday. If they are black, voting will continue, four rounds each day, until a pope is elected.

To sign up for the alarm or read more about it, go to

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