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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Pope Francis

Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on December 17, 1936 in Flores, a barrio of Buenos Aires in Argentina. He was the eldest of five children born to Italian immigrant parents - railway worker Mario Bergoglio  and his wife, Regina.

When he was 21, Bergoglio suffered from a life-threatening bout of pneumonia plus three cysts which caused him to have a portion of his lung removed.

Bergoglio studied philosophy at the Catholic University of Buenos Aires and also earned a master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires. Although there have been numerous prominent Jesuit scientists through the ages, this is the first time one with a background specifically in chemistry has been chosen to lead the Catholic Church.

Bergoglio worked as a bouncer in a Buenos Aires nightclub to earn money as a student.

Other former jobs include sweeping floors, working in a chemistry lab and teaching literature and psychology.

Bergoglio enjoyed dancing the tango in his youth as well as an Argentinian music called the Milonga which has a fast syncopated beat.

He decided to follow his religious vocation and on March 11, 1958 Bergoglio entered the Society of Jesus in Cordoba as a novice.

In 1967 Bergoglio finished his theological studies and he was ordained to the priesthood on December 13, 1969.  In 1973, he was named "provincial" or head of the Jesuits in Argentina.

Pope John Paul II appointed Bergoglio as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998. Under his leadership, the number of priests assigned to work in the slums doubled. This work led to Bergoglio being called the "Slum Bishop.”

As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio insisted on traveling throughout the city using public transportation, rather than using taxis or a car service.

During the 2001 Consistory, Pope John Paul II  named Bergoglio as a Cardinal.

He was elected Pope on March 13, 2013, Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first ever from the Americas and the first from the Southern Hemisphere. He is the first non-European pontiff since the Syrian Pope Gregory III in the 8th century.

Pope Francis is the first pope to decline the papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace; instead he makes his home in Suite 201 of St. Martha’s House, a guest house.

Bergoglio chose his name to be called Pope Francis in order to pay tribute to St. Francis of Assisi.

He sometimes speaks softly due to surgery he had on his lungs in 1956. He had one of his lungs removed because of an infection,

Pope Francis was named 2013 Time Person of the Year in December 2013.

He is an avid sports fan – and is a lifelong supporter of his local team, the San Lorenzo de Almagro football club.

Pope Francis is a big J.R.R. Tolkien fan and once used Bilbo and Frodo's journey for a sermon.

Pope Francis is a big fan of the Argentine tea mate, (pronounced mah-teh) and confesses to having a sweet tooth for alfajores, the Argentine cookies filled with dulce de leche and covered in chocolate.

An estimated crowd of six million braved stormy weather to attend an outdoor Mass in Manila held by Pope Francis on January 18, 2015. It was the largest papal gathering in history.

In a May 2015 interview, Pope Francis said he has not watched television since July 15, 1990.

Pope Francis has never used the internet, despite having nine different twitter accounts and more than 20 million followers.


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