At the 49th International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City in June of 2008, the multilingual Cardinal Bergoglio preached that while human beings, including priests, are fallible, the church itself continues to be sanctified through the celebration of the Eucharist, which he described as a bond that could not be broken and “the source and, at the same time, the summit of all evangelization.”
With that combination of faith, hope and charity, he may be able to set a new direction of renewal for his global flock.
Born: Jorge Mario Bergoglio on Dec. 17, 1936, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to a rail worker who emigrated from northern Italy and a housewife
Education: Studied chemistry in university; when he graduated at 22, he joined the Jesuits and took a degree in philosophy. Afterward, he studied theology. In the 1980s, he received a doctorate in Freiburg, Germany.
Ordained: December, 1969
Ascent in church hierarchy: In May, 1992, pope John Paul II named him assistant bishop of Buenos Aires. By 1998, he was archbishop of Buenos Aires and, three years later, a cardinal.
Languages: Spanish, Italian and German
First day on the job coming up
From the moment of uttering “I accept” in Latin, in front of his fellow cardinals in the Sistine Chapel, the job is his, and it starts instantly.
Pope Francis is getting right to work. He will celebrate his first mass as Pope in the Sistine Chapel on Thursday. He will also visit his predecessor, Benedict XVI, at the papal retreat in Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome, according to Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
On Sunday – following two Sundays with no pope to appear at the papal studio window and bless the crowd in St. Peter’s Square – Francis will be expected by Catholics to speak to them.
Two days later, on Tuesday, the church feast day of St. Joseph, there will be his installation mass, a morning-long affair, with much pomp, prayers and VIPs in the pews, with as many as some 200 foreign delegations expected as well as hundreds of thousands of rank-and-file, including many from the Pope’s homeland.
That ceremony is traditionally held on Sunday, when the city’s streets can be closed to traffic near the Vatican. But St. Joseph’s feast day is a Vatican holiday, and it’s likely many Romans will skip work or school to turn out for the formal embrace of Rome’s new bishop.
Who was Francis?
The Vatican says the new pontiff’s official name is Pope Francis, without a Roman numeral.
Spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi sought to clear up any possible confusion, noting that Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who announced the name to the world, said simply Francis. It is listed that way in the first Vatican bulletin on the new Pope.
“It will become Francis I after we have a Francis II,” he said.
Francis was a much-beloved Italian saint who is identified with peace, poverty and a simple lifestyle.
Jorge Bergoglio is the first pontiff from Latin America and the first pontiff to adopt the name of Francis, the rich, young man from Assisi who renounced wealth and founded the Franciscan order of friars in 1290. “Preach the Gospel always, if necessary use words,” he told followers.
The choice could foretell the Pope’s priorities in striving to bring a sense of serenity to the troubled church. St. Francis is said to have been called by God to repair a church in ruins.
Choosing the name of one of Italy’s patron saints also ties the new Pope to Italy, the homeland of all popes of the past few centuries until 1978.
The first Jesuit pope
More than four centuries after St. Ignatius of Loyola travelled to Italy seeking pope Paul III’s permission to found the Jesuit order, Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the first of the spiritual brotherhood to be elected pope.
As one of the world’s 19,000 priests ordained to the Society of Jesus, as the order is officially known, Pope Francis vowed in 1969 to a life of perpetual poverty, chastity and obedience, including a “special obedience to the Sovereign Pontiff,” according to the The Society of Jesus in the United States.
When he was vice-president of the Argentine bishops conference, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was mentioned in a cable published by WikiLeaks discussing the 2005 papal candidates. The U.S. embassy at the Vatican said at the time his Jesuit standing “could count against him” since “some senior prelates, especially conservatives, are suspicious of a liberal streak in the order.”Report Typo/Error