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Pope Francis

Pope Francis was born as Jorge Mario Bergoglio on the 17th of December 1936 in Flores, Buenos Aires. He was the eldest of the five children of Mario Jose Bergoglio, an Italian immigrant railway worker and Regina Maria Sivori, a housewife. He attended the technical secondary school Escuela Nacional de Educacion Tecnica where he graduated with a chemical technician’s diploma. He worked shortly as a chemical technician before joining the seminary.

In 1967, Bergoglio completed his theological studies and was ordained as a priest on the 13th of December 1969. He was named Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus in Argentina on the 31st July 1973 and served in this capacity until 1979. Thereafter, he was named as the rector of the Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel and served in that capacity up to 1986.

In 1992, Bergoglio was named Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires and he was ordained as Titular Bishop of Auca, with Cardinal Antonio Quarracino on 27th June 1992. On the 3rd of June 1997 he was appointed as Coadjutor Archbishop of Buenos Aires with the right of automatic succession. On 28th February 1998 he became Metropolitan Archbishop of Buenos Aires following the death of Quarracino. While serving in that capacity, Bergoglio created several parishes restructured the archdiocese administrative offices led pro-life initiatives and created a commission on divorces.

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Pope Francis – First Angelus Prayer

Bergoglio was made cardinal by Pope John Paul II with the title of cardinal-priest of San Roberto Bellarmino on the 21st of February 2001. When serving as a cardinal he was appointed to five administrative positions in the Roman Curia. He was a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for the Clergy, and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Commission for Latin America.

Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on the 28th of February 2013, Bergoglio was elected as the new Pope by the papal conclave on the 13th of March 2013. He was elected on the second day of the papal conclave and on the fifth ballot of the conclave. He chose the papal name Francis in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi and he said that he had done so because he was especially concerned with the well-being of the poor. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first pope from the Americas,and the first pope from the Southern Hemisphere.

Pope Francis held his Papal inauguration on the 19th of March 2013 in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican. He announced that he will not live in the apostolic Palace, instead he will remain in the Vatican guest house. Throughout his life, Pope Francis has been known for his humility, concern for the poor and his commitment to dialogue as a way to bring people together despite their beliefs, backgrounds and faiths. Ever since he was elected the new pope, Francis has shown a simpler and less formal approach to the office. An example for this is his wish to live in the Vatican guest house instead of the papal residence.