- NAME: Pope Francis
- OCCUPATION: Pope
- BIRTH DATE: December 17, 1936 (Age: 76)
- Did You Know?: Pope Francis, who was born in Argentina, is the first pope to have come from the Americas.
- EDUCATION: Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel, University of Buenos Aires, Jesuit seminary of Villa Devoto
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Full Name: Jorge Mario Bergoglio
- AKA: Jorge Bergoglio
- AKA: Pope Francis
- AKA: Pope Francis I
- ZODIAC SIGN: Sagittarius
Best Known For
Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church in March 2013, becoming Pope Francis. He is the first pope from the Americas.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires in 1936 and became Pope Francis on March 13, 2013, the first non-European pope in over 1,000 years. Watch this short video to learn about the life of Pope Francis.
In this biography video, we hear Pope Benedict XVI's most controversial speech. On September 12, 2006 the Pope visited his homeland of Bavaria where he said that the only things Muhammad did were evil and destructive.
In this biography video, we see Pope Benedict XVI's wardrobe mishap on the day of his revealing after being named the new Pope. With more than 100,000 waiting outside of the Vatican to see the Pope, inside the Pope has nothing to wear.'
In this biography video of the Papal Election in 2005, we see that the election for the new Pope was an easy one because of Pope John Paul's friendship with the man who would soon become known as Pope Benedict XVI.
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Francis of Assisi of Italy, a Catholic preacher during the 12th and 13th centuries). Prior to the 2013 papal election, Pope Francis had served as both archbishop and cardinal for more than 12 years.
Addressing a crowd of tens of thousands in St. Peter's Square, in the Vatican City in Rome, Italy, after his election win, Pope Francis stated, "As you know,
the duty of the conclave was to appoint a bishop of Rome. It seems to me that my brother cardinals have chosen one who is from faraway. ...Here I am. I would like to thank you for your embrace."
After the 2013 papal election results were announced, U.S. President Barack Obama issued a statement about the new pope: "As the first pope from the Americas, his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the joy of this historic day."
In addition to his native Spanish, Bergoglio speaks Italian and German.
Pope Francis made his first international visit on July 22, 2013, when he arrived at the Galateo-Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There, he was greeted by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in a welcome ceremony, later circulating downtown Rio in order to be "close to the people."
While in Rio, Pope Francis was on hand to celebrate World Youth Day. More than 3 million people attended the pontiff's closing mass at the event. On his way back to Rome, Pope Francis surprised reporters traveling with him regarding his seemingly open stance on gay Catholics. According to The New York Times, he told the press that "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" His remarks were heralded by several gay and lesbian groups as a welcoming gesture by the Roman Catholic Church.
In September 2013, Pope Francis called for others to join him in praying for peace in Syria. The pontiff held a special vigil in St. Peter's Square on September 7, which was attended by roughly 100,000 people. According to the Catholic News Service, Francis told the crowd that "When man thinks only of himself ... permits himself to be captivated by the idols of dominion and power ... Then the door opens to violence, indifference and conflict."
The pope implored those involved in the conflict to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. "Leave behind the self-interest that hardens your heart, overcome the indifference that makes your heart insensitive towards others, conquer your deadly reasoning, and open yourself to dialogue and reconciliation."
Later that month, Pope Francis gave a revealing interview to an Italian Jesuit publication called La Civiltà Cattolica. He explained that the religious dialogue must been broader in scope, not simply focused on such issues as homosexuality and abortion. "We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel," the pope said, according to USA Today.
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