‘My people are poor, and I am one of them,’ says the speaker.
Pope Francis, the 266th and current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, is known around the world for his humility and approachability. On March 13, 2013, Pope Francis was ordained as Pope at the age of 76, making him the first citizen of the Americas, the first non-European, and the first Jesuit priest to be chosen Pope. He was the Archbishop and Cardinal of Buenos Aires before accepting the honorable position. He was given the name Jorge Mario Bergoglio when he was born. Since his ordination as a priest, Pope Francis has worked relentlessly to improve the lives of the poor, which he claims to be his primary concern. Furthermore, he is dedicated to using peaceful dialogue to bridge the gap between individuals of varied backgrounds, classes, beliefs, and faiths. Since the Papal elections, Pope Francis has taken a more informal approach to office than his predecessors. He has eschewed most of the privileges bestowed upon a Pope, preferring instead to live a simple and humble life. On his first appearance as a pontiff, he chose to stay at the Vatican guesthouse rather than the papal residence, drove a basic automobile rather than a showy popemobile, wore the white Cossack instead of the red mozzetta, and wore an iron pectoral cross rather than a gilded one. Pope Francis strongly believes that social outreach, rather than intellectual debates, is the church’s primary mission. While his innovative ideas on humility, simplicity, and austerity in order to build a strong defense of the poor have received significant praise and admiration, his strict orthodox stance against abortion, same-sex marriage, and contraception has generated criticism from a small number of people.
Childhood and Adolescence
Mario Jose Bergoglio and Regina Maria Sivori, both Italian immigrants, gave birth to Pope Francis as Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Bergoglio was the eldest of the couple’s five children, and he was just like any other kid.
He enjoyed milonga, Argentina’s and Uruguay’s traditional dance and music. Bergoglio received his primary education from Wilfrid Baron de los Santos Angeles, after which he graduated as a chemical technician from Escuela Nacional de Educacion Técnica No. 27 Hipolito Yrigoyen.
Bergoglio worked as a chemical technician in the Hickethier-Bachmann Laboratory’s foods area after graduation. He did not stay in this position for long, however, as he found his true calling and entered the priesthood.
As a member of the Jesuit order,
Bergoglio was accepted into the Inmaculada Concepcion Seminary in Villa Devoto, Buenos Aires, after deciding to pursue sainthood. In 1958, he left the same after three years and joined the Society of Jesus.
Bergoglio studied humanities as a Jesuit novice in Santiago, Chile. When Bergoglio made the religious profession of the initial, temporary vows of a member of the order in 1960, he formally became a Jesuit.
Bergoglio attended the Colegio de San Jose in San Miguel the same year, in 1960. In 1963, he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. Bergoglio began teaching literature and psychology at Santa Fe’s Immaculate Conception College the following year.
He continued his career for a year before moving to the Colegio del Salvatore in Buenos Aires in 1966 to teach the same courses.
Bergoglio studied theology at the Colegio de San Jose from 1967 to 1970, earning a degree.
Archbishop Ramon Jose Castellano ordained Bergoglio as a priest in 1969. During this time, he was a master of novices at the Facultades de Filosofia y Teologia de San Miguel (Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel), a seminary in San Miguel, where he later became a professor of theology.
Bergoglio finished his final stage of spiritual formation as a Jesuit at the University of Alcala de Henares in Spain between 1970 and 1971.
On April 22, 1973, he vowed his final profession with the Jesuits. In July 1973, Bergoglio was appointed Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus, a position he held for the following six years.
In 1980, he was named rector of the Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel in San Miguel, where he remained until 1986, after completing his time as Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus. Bergoglio travelled to Frankfurt, Germany, in March 1986 to complete his doctoral thesis at the Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology. He then went to Argentina to work at the Colegio del Salvador as a spiritual director and confessor.
A Bishop’s Role
Cardinal Antonio Quarracino ordained Bergoglio as Titular Bishop of Auca and Auxiliary of Buenos Aires in 1992.
He was upgraded and assigned to the office of Coadjutor Archbishop of Buenos Aires five years later, in 1997. Bergoglio picked the episcopal motto ‘Miserando atque eligendo’, which means ‘because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him’, during this time.
Bergoglio was named Metropolitan Archbishop of Buenos Aires after Cardinal Antonio Quarracino died in 1998.
Bergoglio was active in the development of new parishes and the revamping of the archdiocese’s administrative departments during his time as Archbishop. He bolstered the Church’s presence in Buenos Aires’ slums and impoverished neighborhoods. During his tenure, the number of priests serving in these areas more than doubled.
Bergoglio was named ordinary (an officer of a church or municipal authority who, by virtue of office, has ordinary power to execute laws) for those Eastern Catholics in Argentina who lacked a prelate of their own rite in 1998, while he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
While serving as Archbishop, Bergoglio attempted to reconcile with Jeronimo Podesta, a former bishop who was defrocked as a priest for his opposition to the military dictatorship in the 1970s.
Bergoglio made it usual to practice the Holy Thursday ritual washing of feet in “a jail, a hospital, a home for the aged, or among needy people” during his time as a bishop.
As a Cardinal
In 2001, Pope John Paul II elevated Archbishop Bergoglio to Cardinal and bestowed the title of cardinal-priest of San Roberto Bellarmino on him. Personal humility, doctrinal conservatism, and a devotion to social justice earned Cardinal Bergoglio a reputation.
Bergoglio was appointed to five administrative positions in the Roman Curia as a Cardinal, including membership in the Congregation for Divine Worship and Sacramental Discipline, the Congregation for the Clergy, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the Pontifical Council for the Family, and the Commission for Latin America.
Cardinal Bergoglio limited himself to a basic lifestyle and self-sufficiency during his time as a priest. He lived a life of humility and did not pursue worldly pleasures and luxuries. Following the September 11 attacks, he was designated as the General Relator to the Synod of Bishops on the Episcopal Ministry’s 10th Ordinary General Assembly.
Bergoglio was elected President of the Argentine Bishops’ Conference in 2005, and he remained in that position for two terms until 2011. In the same year, he served as a Cardinal elector in the Papal Conclave, where Pope Benedict XVI was elected.
As a Pope
Following Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, a Papal Conclave was convened and an election was held to choose his successor. Bergoglio was elected Pope Francis on the second day of the conclave. On the fifth ballot of the conclave, he was elected on March 13, 2013.
Bergoglio was elected as the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, the first citizen of the Americas, the first non-European, and the first Jesuit priest.
From the beginning, Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope, disregarded the position’s rules and procedures. On his first appearance as a pontiff, he accepted the cardinals’ greetings while standing rather than sitting, wearing the white Cossack instead of the red mozzetta, and wearing an iron pectoral cross rather than the gold one worn by his predecessors.
Bergoglio, the Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, took the name Pope Francis after Saint Francis of Assisi. He chose the name because he was concerned about the poor’s well-being. Francis is the first time a pope has been given the name Francis. Pope Francis was formally installed as Pope on March 19, 2013 in St Peter’s Square in the Vatican. He said Mass in front of thousands of pilgrims and spiritual and religious leaders from all around the world.
Pope Francis made several head-scratching decisions shortly after his appointment, including abolishing the bonuses paid to Vatican employees upon the election of a new pope and the annual bonus paid to cardinals serving on the Vatican bank’s Board of Supervisors, instead donating the money to the poor. This was the first step in his mission to protect the poor’s well-being.
In addition, Pope Francis chose eight Cardinals to serve as his advisers in the revision of the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia. Pope Francis paid his first Thursday visit to a Rome jail, where he bathed the feet of twelve detainees, as is customary on Holy Thursday.
Pope Francis used his first Easter homily as a chance to call for world peace and harmony. He urged individuals to avoid the route of easy profit and to abandon selfishness for the sake of humanity, since this is the only way to maintain the environment.
On May 12th, 2013, Pope Francis announced his first canonization, which approved all people who were canonized during Benedict XVI’s tenure. Laura of Saint Catherine of Siena, the first Colombian saint, Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, the second female Mexican saint, Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, and the Martyrs of Otranto were among those canonized by him.
Pope Francis’s Precepts
Pope Francis, a strong believer in humility and self-effacement, is known for his dedication to serving the poor and needy, as well as bridging barriers between people of all backgrounds, faiths, and beliefs. Pope Francis has always considered social outreach, rather than doctrinal debates, to be the most important work of the church.
Pope Francis emphasizes the value and power of mercy by choosing the motto Miserando atque eligendo, which speaks for Jesus’ mercy toward sinners. As a response to God’s benevolence, he has consistently prophesied morality. Morality, according to Pope Francis, is a revolution rather than an effort.
Pope Francis has received praise and admiration for his efforts to combat poverty and economic disparities since his ordination as a priest. He has condemned poverty and unjust economic institutions as the root causes of inequality and human rights violations, and has encouraged the globe to end the immoral, unjust, and illegitimate social debt.
Pope Francis has taken a firm stance against bribery, homelessness, and worker exploitation. He claims that whereas the former numbs a man’s conscience, the later demonstrates that the world is just symbolically and not physically free of slavery. Pope Francis, a traditionalist and devout orthodox, has obviously been a strong opponent on issues of sexual morality, opposing abortion, same-sex marriage, and contraception. He maintained that while homosexuals should be treated with respect and attention, gay behavior should not be encouraged.
He is the Roman Catholic Church’s 266th Pope. He became the first citizen of the Americas, the first non-European, and the first Jesuit priest to be named Pope with this appointment.