Tuesday, December 17, 2013


- Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on December 17, 1936 in Flores, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

- His father, Mario Jose Bergoglio who worked as an accountant in the railways was an Italian immigrant from Portacomaro, in the Asti Province of Italy. He left Italy to escape the fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini. His mother, Regina Maria Sivori, who was also of Italian origin, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

- Pope Francis is the eldest of five children. Of his siblings, only his sister Maria Elena is still living.

- He had his elementary studies at a Salesian school in Ramos Mejia. He attended the technical secondary school at the Escueta Nacional de Educacion Tecnica. He graduated with honors in Chemistry.

- He felt that he was called to the priesthood on the feast of St. Matthew on September 21, 1953 at the age of sixteen. He studied at the Inmaculada Concepcion Seminary in Villa Devoto, Buenos Aires.

- Bergoglio entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus on March 11, 1958, and after two years, he made his first religious profession. He completed his studies in Humanities in the country of Chile. He graduated with a degree of Philosophy from Colegio de San Jose in 1963.

- He taught Literature and Philosophy at the Immaculate Conception College and Colegio de Salvatore in 1964-1965 and 1966, respectively. From 1967 to 1970 he studied Theology and obtained a degree from Colegio de San Jose.

- On December 13, 1969, four days before his thirty-third birthday, he was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Ramon Jose Castellano.

- In 1970 to 1971, he went to Spain to complete his training and formation at the University of Alcala de Henares. He finally made his perpetual vows with the Jesuits on April 22, 1973.

- In Argentina, Bergoglio was a Master of Novices and a theology professor at Villa Barilari, San Miguel. He was also the Provincial Superior of the Jesuits from 1973 to 1979, and a rector to his alma mater Colegio Maximo of the Faculty of Philosophy and Theology in 1980 to 1986.

- In 1980, he studied English for three months at the Jesuit Centre in Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy in Dublin, Ireland. And in March 1986, he completed his doctorate in Theology in Freiburg, Germany. 

- On May 20, 1992, he was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires. Seven days later on May 27, 1992, he received his episcopal ordination. He became Archbishop, Primate of Argentina on February 28, 1998. He was also appointed as Ordinary for the Eastern Catholics (autonomous self-governing particular churches) in Argentina who don't have a prelate of their own rite on November 6, 1998.

- Pope John Paul II appointed him as Cardinal on February 21, 2001. Later in October of that same year, he was made General Relator to the 10th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Episcopal Ministry. From 2005 to 2011, he served as president of the Argentine Episcopal Conference.

- As required by Canon Law, Bergoglio who turned 75 on December 17, 2011, submitted his resignation as Archbishop of Buenos Aires to Pope Benedict XI.

- On March 13, 2013, Bergoglio was chosen as the 266th Pope after Pope Benedict XVI resigned from the Papacy on February 28, 2013.

- www.vatican.va

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