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Pope Francis I

Pope / Religious Figure

Born: 17 December 1936
Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Best known as:

The Argentinian cardinal who became Pope Francis I

Name at birth: Jorge Mario Bergoglio

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina became Pope Francis I on 13 March 2013. He succeeded Pope Benedict XVI, who had stepped down a month earlier. Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born and raised in Buenos Aires, the son of an Italian immigrant. In the late 1950s Bergoglio joined the Society of Jesus, and in 1969 was ordained as a Jesuit. During the 1970s and '80s, he taught philosophy and theology in San Miguel, earning a reputation as a moderate scholar with a particular interest in fighting for the poor. He was named Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992, and six years later was elevated to Archbishop; Pope John Paul II made Bergoglio a cardinal in 2001. According to many sources, in the 2005 conclave that chose Pope Benedict XVI, Bergoglio had been the runner-up. Instead of becoming pope, he became the president of the Buenos Aires Bishop's Conference, a post he held until 2011. He is the first pope from Latin America, the first Jesuit to become pope, and the first to take the name Francis.

Extra credit:

Papa Francesco I is his name in Italian... Pope Francis I is missing a lung; he had one removed when he was in his 20s as the result of an illness... According to a 2013 profile in The Catholic Herald, "He studied and received a master’s degree in chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires, but later decided to become a Jesuit priest and studied at the Jesuit seminary of Villa Devoto." He also has a degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of Buenos Aires, which he earned in 1960.

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