On March 13, 2013, Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, son of Italian immigrant parents, was elected the 266th leader of the Roman Catholic Church with its 1.2 billion members. He took the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi, who lived in poverty and simplicity and was a champion of the poor. His election was historic—the first non-European pope in 1200 years and the first from the Society of Jesus.
An Ignatian Pilgrim
god's glory !
The Ignatian Spiritual Exercises invite people to know themselves as loved and forgiven sinners. That is how Francis presents himself. At the age of 36, he was thrust into the leadership of the Argentine Jesuit province. He admits that he made many bad decisions at that time because of his authoritarian way of operating. In contrast today, he regularly convenes a group of nine cardinals from around the world to advise him. As a result of his ability to stand in the truth about his own limitations, he is not haunted by his past. He has an inner freedom, the goal of the Exercises. He learns from his mistakes, from his experience. He listens to people and is slow to judge them. He sees the Church (and the world) as a field hospital after battle, calling for compassionate care and healing.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on December 17, 1936, to Italian immigrants. As a young man, Bergoglio underwent surgery to remove part of one of his lungs due to serious infection. He graduated from a technical school as a chemical technician before beginning training at the Diocesan Seminary of Villa Devoto. In March 1958, he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus.