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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Interesting facts about Pope Francis

We have a new pope - Pope Francis!  As soon as I read  my mom's text this morning when I woke up, I went online and spent the next 30 minutes getting to know Pope Francis. :)

Our new pope is Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, age 76, the 266th pope.  He is the first non-European pope in 1,300 years (the last being St. Gregory III of Syria in the 8th Century).  He's the first Jesuit to become a pope. And the first pope to pick "Francis" for a name (in honor of St. Francis of Assisi).  A lot of firsts! :)

On his first public appearance, he asked the people to bless him first before he blessed them. Such humility!  And in an article I read from Reuters, after his appearance at the Vatican balcony, he declined to ride the papal limousine but instead chose to take the shuttle bus (together with the other cardinals) on their way back to their residence where they will have an evening meal. Wow.  

And as all other articles say, he is known for his humility - taking the bus or train around Buenos Aires and choosing to live in a small, simple apartment outside the city instead of living in a bishop's palace.

Other interesting facts about Pope Francis - he's one of 5 children of Italian immigrants.  His dad is a railway worker and his mom, a housewife.   When he was a teenager, he lost one of his lungs due to a respiratory illness.  He studied chemistry, and at age 21, entered priesthood.  Pope Francis is fluent in Spanish (his mother tongue) and also speaks Latin, German, Italian and French. Wow.

Looking forward to seeing Pope Francis in person someday. Viva il Papa!

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