30 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About Pope Francis


Pope Francis, the Pope of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State, is often noted for his humility, concern for the poor, emphasis on God's mercy and commitment to interfaith dialogue. Here are 30 interesting facts to know about him:

  1. Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope, and it was a totally unexpected appointment, because of the tense relations between the Society of Jesus and the Holy See.
  2. He is also the very first pope from the Southern Hemisphere. He is the first pope from the Americas.
  3. While there are many reports claiming him to be the first non-Europe Pope, he is actually the first pope from outside Europe since 8th century, the period of Syrian Gregory III. In fact he is the 11th non-Europe Pope.
  4. Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, on December 17, 1936, in Flores, a neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was named after a past President of Argentina.
  5. His father Mario José Bergoglio was an Italian immigrant accountant, while his mother Regina María Sívori was a housewife.
  6. He had four siblings - Alberto Horacio, Oscar Adrián, Marta Regina, and María Elena Bergoglio, the Pope's only living sibling.
  7. He chose the name "Francis," in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi of Italy, because he was especially concerned for the well-being of the poor.
  8. He is the first pope to be named as Francis, and also there is no regnal number used for him. It is also the first time since Pope Lando's 913–914 reign that a serving pope holds a name not used by a predecessor.
  9. He attended the technical secondary school Escuela Técnica Industrial N° 27 Hipólito Yrigoyen, where he graduated with a chemical technician's diploma. With that he worked in the foods section at Hickethier-Bachmann Laboratory, for few years.
  10. Before joining the Jesuits, Bergoglio worked as a janitor sweeping floors, as a bar bouncer, and he ran tests in a chemical laboratory.
  11. In addition to his native Spanish, Pope Francis is fluent in Latin, Italian, German, French, Portuguese and English. He understands the Piedmontese Language and also some Genoese.
  12. It was his first Holy Thursday that had a pope including women in the ritual, in which the pope washed and kissed the feet of ten male and two female juvenile offenders. However, he had already included women in the custom, when he was archbishop.
  13. The Institute for the Works of Religion, also known as the Vatican Bank, within the first months of Francis's Papacy, said that it would become more transparent in its financial dealings. The Vatican Bank had long been the subject of allegations of corruption and money laundering.
  14. At the age of 21, he suffered from life-threatening pneumonia and three cysts and had a part of a lung excised shortly afterwards.
  15. Bergoglio studied at the archdiocesan seminary, Inmaculada Concepción Seminary, in Villa Devoto, Buenos Aires, and, after a period of three years, entered the Society of Jesus as a novice on March 11, 1958.
  16. Pope Francis expressed support for same-sex marriage, including the 2010 bill to introduce it in Argentina, and claims that the church has to welcome all people regardless of their sexual orientation.
  17. The encouraging tone from the papacy, led the American LGBT magazine "The Advocate," to name Pope Francis as their "Person of the Year” for 2013.
  18. He officially became a Jesuit on 12 March 1960, when he made the religious profession of the initial, perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience of a member of the order.
  19. In the year 2014, Pope Francis, in a meeting with representatives of the International Association of Penal Law, proposed the abolition of both capital punishment and life imprisonment, asking the states to find another way to protect people from aggression.
  20. In the year 1992, Bergoglio was named Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires and was ordained on June 27, 1992 as Titular Bishop of Auca.
  21. Pope Francis's first encyclical, "Lumen Fidei", was about faith while his first apostolic exhortation, "Evangelii Gaudium", was about the new evangelization.
  22. In his 84-page apostolic exhortation "Evangelii gaudium," Francis has denounced the "autonomy of the marketplace" and "financial speculation" as tyranny.
  23. Throughout his papacy, Pope Francis has been a vocal opponent of both the practice and legality of abortion, asking people to protect human life "from the moment of conception."
  24. According to Francis, the most powerful message of Jesus Christ is mercy, and that his motto Miserando atque eligendo, a phrase taken from a homily of Saint Bede, is all about Jesus's mercy towards sinners.
  25. Pope Francis issued a papal encyclical called "Laudato si'," officially made public on June 18, 2015, is all about the climate change, care for the environment, and sustainable development, that sets apart the basic human needs and appetites.
  26. Francis was elected at the age of 76. He was reported to be healthy and that the removal of lung tissue in his youth, does not have a significant impact on his health.
  27. Bergoglio is recognized for his efforts "to further close the nearly 1,000-year estrangement with the Eastern Orthodox Churches." The Pope also called for Catholics and Independent Catholics to "persevere in dialogue and to walk, pray and work together in a deeper spirit of conversion."
  28. He chose to reside in the Vatican guest house, where he can receive visitors and hold meetings, rather than the official papal residence in the Apostolic Palace.
  29. He is the first pope since Pope Pius X (1903 to 1914), to live outside the papal apartments.
  30. Bergoglio was the subject of allegations accusing him of involvement regarding the kidnapping of two Jesuit priests during Argentina's Dirty War. However, contrary to the reports, he had never tried to throw them out of the Jesuit Order.
  31. Pope Francis Net Worth: $73 Million

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Pope Francis, Bergoglio, Catholic Church

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