266th Pope of the Catholic Church
BEGINNING PONTIFICATE 13 March 2013
SECULAR NAME Jorge Mario Bergoglio
BIRTH December 17, 1936 in Buenos Aires (Argentina)
A glimpse into his life…
Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the first Jesuit pope and the first from America.
He was born in Buenos Aires in 1936 into a family of Italian immigrants, his father Mario working as an accountant by the railways and his mother Regina Sivori being dedicated to raising their five children. After graduating as a chemical technician, he then chose the priesthood and studied at the Diocesan Seminary of Villa Devoto. In 1958 he entered the noviate of the Society of Jesus. After coming back from Chile, where he had perfectioned his studies, he took a degree in philosophy in 1963 and from then on he thought psychology and philosophy in several prestigious colleges and institutions. In 1969 he was ordained priest and in 1973 he became officially part of the Society of Jesus. In the following decade, appointed to important positions, he could travel to Spain and Germany to complete further studies, until he was nominated bishop under Pope John Paul II in 1992. He became cardinal nine years later, in 2001. During this lapse of time he mantained his pastoral activities in is land while covering important roles within the Church institutions.
During 2005 conclave, following the death of John Paul II, he had resulted as the second most voted candidate to the papacy after the newly elected pope Joseph Ratzinger.After the resignation of Benedict XVI, at the beginning of 2013, a less than twentysix hour long conclave named Jorge Mario Bergoglio as pope.
Did you know that…
Before taking up the path of pristehood, the young Jorge Mario Bergoglio had a few worldy jobs: was employed as a cleaner and afterwards as a bouncer at a club.
When he was 21 years old he contracted a serious lung infection that was treated by surgery: he was removed a part of one of his lungs.
He played an important role during the dictatorship in Argentina by secretely offering asylum within the Jesuit College to many persecuted.
Bergoglio was the first pope choosing Francis as a name. After Pope Lando (eleven centuries ago) nobody had selected a name never used by a predecessor, the only exception being somehow Pope John Paul I, who however had merged the names of the two popes before him.