Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pope Francis I

Francis (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on 17 December 1936) is the 266th and current pope of the Catholic Church, elected on 13 March 2013. As such, he is both head of the Church and Sovereign of the Vatican City State.
A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he was ordained as a priest in 1969. He served as head of the Society of Jesus in Argentina from 1973 to 1979. In 1998 he became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and in 2001 a cardinal. Following the resignation of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, on 28 February 2013, the conclave elected Bergoglio, who chose the papal name Franciscus in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi. He is the first pope to be a Jesuit, to come from the Americas, and to come from the Southern Hemisphere. Francis is the first non-European pope since St. Gregory III, who died in 741.
Early Life
Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, one of the five children of Mario José Bergoglio, a railway worker born in Portacomaro (Province of Asti) in Italy's Piedmont region, and his wife Regina María Sívori, a housewife born in Buenos Aires to a family of northern Italian (Piedmontese-Genoese) origin. Bergoglio has been a supporter of the San Lorenzo de Almagro football club since his childhood.
He graduated from the technical secondary school Escuelas Técnicas No. 27, Hipólito Yrigoyen with the qualification of chemical technician. According to some sources (not including the Vatican), he earned a master's degree in chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires. At the age of 21, he decided to become a priest and began his religious studies, being eventually ordained in 1969. In the only known health crisis of his youth, he suffered from life-threatening pneumonia and cysts and had part of a lung removed shortly afterwards. According to Ukrainian Catholic Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Bergoglio was mentored by Salesian Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest Stefan Czmil and knows the Byzantine liturgy well.