Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Born: Dec 17, 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Nationality: Argentinian
Famous For: 266th Pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Francis was born on December 17, 1936, in Buenos Aires. His leadership and service got him to be named the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church in March of 2013, following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

Early Life

Born under the name of Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Flores, Buenos Aires, Pope Francis graduated from a technical school to become a chemical technician. He worked in the food industry for several years before deciding to follow the archdiocesan seminary in Villa Devoto.

Pre-Papal Career

After graduating from the archdiocesan seminary, he was received into the Society of Jesus in March 1958 as a novice. Two years later, he officially became a Jesuit. In the same year he obtained his licentiate in philosophy at the San Jose College in San Migues and started teaching literature and psychology at a high school in Argentina.

He did this until 1967 when the finished his theological studies and became a professor of theology.

In early 1972 he was appointed Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus until 1979. Just one year later, he became a rector in San Miguel at the Philosophical and Theological Faculty. He continued to serve as a rector until 1986.

Role as Bishop

His role as a Bishop started later on. In 1992, Pope Francis was awarded with the title of Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires and five years later, he became the Metropolitan Archbishop just after the death of Quarrancino, the Archbishop of that time.

After he assumed the new role, Bergoglio started to reform the administrative offices and improve the Church’s presence in the slums by doubling the number of priests assigned to these areas. On November 6, 1998, Bergoglio was named ordinary for all churches in Argentina that did not have a prelate for their rite.

His career in the service of the church continued to climb. Pope John Paul II named him cardinal. His activity as a cardinal got him recognized for his personal humility, commitment to social justice, simple lifestyle, concern for the poor and modesty. He chose to live in a small apartment rather than in the elegant bishop’s residence.

Leading the Catholic Church

On March 13, 2013, Bergoglio was elected pope at the age of 76, choosing the name Francis the second day. He chose not to live in the official papal residence but to remain in the guest house. Since the moment he was name leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis expressed his desire to change traditions that no longer serve the Church or the good of the people.

His leadership and first acts seemed controversial, such as the first Holy Thursday after his election in which he washed and kissed the feet of a woman for the first time in the history of this ritual. His actions were explained to be mere acts of letting the people know that the church is available to everyone and its message should reach the entire world.

The leadership of Pope Francis emphasized or brought attention to poverty and the contrast created by luxury, vanity, and pride of the current society and how the people tend to forget about the poor.