Pope Francisco (Jorge Mario Bergoglio) Biography
Jorge Mario Bergoglio better known as Pope Francisco was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the Porteño neighborhood on December 17, 1936. His parents: Mario Bergoglio (emigrant from Italy), he was a railway accountant and his mother Regina María Sívori, a housewife born in Buenos Aires, who was responsible for the education of their five children. Bergoglio was baptized on the Christmas night of the same year, at the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians and St. Charles of Buenos Aires, by the Salesian priest Enrique Pozzoli. On October 8, 1944, he made his first communion. He had a close relationship with her grandparents, especially with his paternal grandmother Rosa M. Vasallo, of whom Pope Francis says: “she has been the woman who has had the most influence in my life.”
Pope Francis grew up in a home accustomed to Italian and Catholic origins. He studied at the Salesian College, then entered the industrial secondary school (E.T.N. No.27) Hipólito Yrigoyen, where he graduated as a Chemical Technician.
He worked in the Hickethier – Bachmann laboratory, performing bromatological analyzes aimed at controlling the hygiene of food products.
In his youth due to a disease, he underwent a surgical operation where a fragment of his lung was removed, which according to the doctors did not have any significant impact on his health, only in the case of a decrease in the reserve of breathing if he was to suffer a respiratory infection.
In 1957, at the age of 21, he decided to become a religious, and entered the Seminary of Villa Devoto, in the novitiate of the “Society of Jesus.” After two years of novitiate, he finished his studies at the Jesuit seminary of Santiago de Chile, located in the retreat house San Alberto Hurtado, where he entered the course of Classical Sciences and deepened his studies of history, literature, Latin, and Greek.
Between 1964 and 1966, he was a professor of literature and psychology at the College of the Immaculate Conception of Santa Fe and at the Salvador School in Buenos Aires.
In 1966, he and several Jesuits of the Universidad del Salvador were spiritual directors of the young Catholic members who joined the Peronist youth group “Guardia de Hierro” (Organization with political activity on several fronts).
Four days before his 33 years of age, the eve of the third Sunday of Advent was ordained “Priest” on December 13, 1969, in Argentina by the Archbishop Emeritus of Cordoba, Monsignor Ramón José Castellano.
Between 1967 and 1970, he studied theology at the Colegio Máximo de San José in San Miguel. Between 1970 and 1971 he made the third probation of his novitiate in the Spanish city of Alcalá de Henares, (last necessary test to enter the Society of Jesus definitively.) In 1973, he issued his perpetual vows in the Society of Jesus. He returned to Argentina to continue his vocation of service, being named Provincial of the Jesuits on July 31, a position he held until 1979. At this time he had dialogues with priests in danger of kidnapping and with other religious who had been freed, they were victims of torture especially those linked to the Movement of Priests for the Third World.
In 1980 until 1986, he was rector of the Colegio Máximo de San Miguel and of the Faculties of Philosophy and Theology. He was also the first parish priest of the Parroquia del Patriarca San José located in the humble San José neighborhood of the San Carlos town of Buenos Aires.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio was always a simple man, sober, low profile, but of energetic preaching, brave defender of life from conception to natural death, lover of music, literature, and as a good Argentine soccer lover.
Pope Francis is the first to be: pontiff of America, Spanish speaker, Jesuit and having chosen the name of the saint of Assisi, great evangelizer of the Society of Jesus “San Francisco Javier.”
On May 20, 1992, he was consecrated titular Bishop of the Diocese of Oca, to practice as one of the auxiliary bishops of Buenos Aires.
In 1997, he was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop. When Cardinal Antonio Quarracino died, Jorge Mario succeeded him as Archbishop of Buenos Aires on February 28, 1998. This position had added the title of Primate of Argentina and the Grand Chancellor of the Catholic University of Argentina.
On February 21, 2001, during the consistory (Meeting of the College of Cardinals), at that time, Pope John Paul II made him “Cardinal,” assigning him the title of “St. Robert Bellarmine.” As Cardinal, Jorge Mario Bergoglio led a prudent life. He lived alone in a simple apartment on the second floor of the Parrish building, next to the Cathedral, was an efficient defender of the Argentines during the economic and social crisis in 2001. In Buenos Aires, he traveled by public transport (Metro, bus) like any other priest always in his cassock, he cooked his own food and often confessed in the Cathedral of Buenos Aires. In October of the same year, he was appointed deputy general rapporteur for the tenth ordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops. The congregation for the clergy, the pontifical council for the family, and a member of the Argentine Episcopal Conference, among others.
As Archbishop and Cardinal Jorge Mario was known for his humility and his commitment to social justice. He promoted the dialogue and the approach to the different social groups, whether or not they were Catholic. He also reinforced the pastoral work in the parishes, increasing the presence of priests in the marginal neighborhoods. For this reason he was known as the “Bishop of the Poor.” He is a fan and a simple active member of the San Lorenzo de Almagro Athletic Club.
When John Paul II died, the Conclave began on April 18, 2005, for the election of the new pope. There were 117 Cardinals under the age of 80 eligible to vote. Among them was Bergoglio who took the second place behind Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who was elected Pope under the name of Benedict XVI, Pope until February 2013. Bergoglio, upon reaching 75 years of age presented his resignation as Archbishop and could retire once his successor was appointed, but Pope Benedict XVI did not accept it.
On March 13, 2013, in the fifth round of voting on the second day of the conclave, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope, successor of Benedict XVI, after his election with the majority of votes, the Cardinal chose the name of Francisco as his Pontifical name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, an Italian saint who founded the Franciscan Order in the thirteenth century and was characterized by the delivery to the poor. In his first public appearance, Pope Francis raised a prayer for Pope Benedict and said he started a path asking all the faithful to pray for each other to achieve a great fraternity. He also said:
“I hope that this path of the church that we started today will be fruitful for evangelization.”
And he asked for a prayer in silence for him, so that God could help him in his work.
On March 14, 2013, one day after being elected, he celebrated his first Mass as pontiff in the Sistine Chapel. He did it alternating Latin and Italian, without the help of writings, called to proclaim the message of “Jesus Christ,” stressed the need for the church to move away from the mundane building on the “Gospel” and the cornerstone of Christ. Friday, March 15 (Second day of his pontificate), he received in audience all the Cardinals in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, thanked them for the support received in the Papal Conclave and praised the work done by Benedict XVI (his predecessor) saying “I feel great gratitude and affection for my predecessor, who reinvigorated the church with his faith, his knowledge and his humility.” He also said:
“All of us are going to try to respond with faith to bring Jesus Christ to humanity and to bring humanity back to Christ, to the church.”
On Saturday the 16th, Pope Francis received the journalists in the classroom Paul VI, blessed them and thanked them for the work done during the days of the conclave by speaking to them in Spanish saying “Many of you do not belong to the Catholic Church and others are not believers, but respecting the conscience of each one, I give you my blessing knowing that Each one of you is a child of God. May God bless you!” On Sunday, March 17, Pope Francis presided over the Angelus prayer from the balcony of the Apostolic Palace before more than one hundred and fifty thousand people, telling them of the” Mercy of God.” On March 19, Pope Francis was the inaugural mass of the pontificate, attended by official delegations from 132 countries of the world and leaders of other religious denominations. Among the representatives of other Christian denominations that attended the ceremony was the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, a surprising fact that did not occur from the Schism of the East, almost a thousand years ago.
ENCYCLICS OF POPE FRANCIS
- Columen Fidei: “The light of faith” (July 5, 2013).
- Laudato Si: “Praise you” (May 24, 2015).
May 12, 2013: Laura Montoya, María Lupita García Zabala and Antonio Primaldo and their 812 fellow martyrs of Otranto.
Additionally, on October 9 of the same year, he decreed the equivalent canonization of the Franciscan tertiary mystic Ángela de Foligno. Therefore, he is the Pope who has proclaimed the most saints in the history of the church, surpassing the record of John Paul II. On December 17, 2013, on his 76th birthday, he issued the equivalent canonization of Pedro Fabro, Saint Jesuit co-founder of the Society of Jesus and on April 3, 2014, Francisco canonized by decree José de Anchieta (Spanish Missionary and Jesuit poet who founded cities in Brazil). Marie Guyart (a French woman who became a widow and became an indigenous teacher in Canada when she became a widow). On April 27, 2014, he carried out the joint canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. Among many others.
SOME OF THE TRIPS CARRIED OUT IN HIS PONTIFICATE
- By showing his simplicity and humility, he has gone to meet Catholics of the world with messages of peace, he has sought to have bridges for reconciliation between countries and communities, opening new ways of Evangelization.
- Rio de Janeiro ( World Youth Day from July 22 to 29, 2013).
- Land of the Holy Land: Jordan, Israel and Palestine (May 24-26, 2014).
- South Korea: Daejeon and Seoul (August 13-18, 2014).
- Albania: Tirana (September 21, 2014).
- Strasbourg: France (November 25, 2014).
- Turkey: Ankara and Istanbul (November 28 to 30, 2014).
- The Philippines and Sri Lanka (12 to 19) January 2015).
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (June 6, 2015).
- Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay (July 5 to 12, 2015).
- Cuba and the United States (September 19 to September 28, 2015).
SOME OF HIS QUOTES
- “I insist once again: God never gets tired of forgiving, it is us who get tired of going to His mercy.”
- “I can say that the most beautiful and spontaneous joys I have seen in my life are the of very poor people who have little to cling to.”
- “Jesus Christ can also break the boring schemes in which we intend to enclose him and surprise us with his constant divine creativity.”
- “Hate, envy and pride dirty life.”
- “How I would like a poor church and for the poor.”
- ” I ask you a favor. Before the bishop blesses the people, I ask you to pray to the Lord to bless me.”
- ” God understands us, he waits for us, he never tires of forgiving us. If we know how to return to Him with a repentant heart.”
- In 2013 Time magazine considered him one of the hundred most influential people in the group of “Leaders.”
- In 2013, he was chosen by the same magazine “Person of the year.”
- In 2014, he figured among the candidates for the Nobel Prize in Peace.
- Sovere Grand Master of the Supreme Order of Christ.
- Soberano Grand Master of the Order Espuela de Oro.
- Soberano Grand Master of the Order of Pio IX.
- Soberano Grand Master of the Order of San Gregorio Magno.
- Soberano Grand Master of the Order of San Silvestre.
FOREIGN HONORARY DISTINCTIONS
- High-ranking Grand Knight of the Order of the Condor of the Andes (the Plurinational State of Bolivia, 09/07/2015).
- Order to Merit Luis Espinal Camps (Plurinational State of Bolivia, 09/07/2015).
- Knight of the Order of the Smile (Republic of Poland, 26/04/2016). Charlemagne Prize 2016 (06/05/2016).