Pope Francis
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Pope Francis

Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on December 17 1936, is the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church, having been elected Bishop of Rome and absolute Sovereign of Vatican City. Born in Buenos Aires as the son of Italian parents, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was ordained a priest in 1969. From 1973 to 1979 he was Argentina's Provincial superior of the Society of Jesus. He became Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, and a cardinal in 2001. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI in February 2013, on March 13, 2013 the papal conclave elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who chose the papal name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first pope from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere and the first non-European Pope since Pope Gregory III, 1272 years earlier. Throughout his life, both as an individual and as a religious leader, Pope Francis has been noted for his humility, his concern for the poor, and his commitment to dialogue as a way to build bridges between people of all backgrounds, beliefs, and faiths. Pope Francis has published a compilation of his teachings in two volumes entitled Simple Wisdom: Hold On to Hope, Vol. 1, and Simple Wisdom: The Joy of Evangelization, Vol. 1. He also published his first encyclical entitled The Light of Faith: Lumen Fidei, which is available in English and Spanish. The Joy of the Gospel: Evangelii Gaudium, recently published, is the long-awaited teaching of Pope Francis on the proclamation of the Gospel. He is calling upon the Church and the world with encouragement to begin a new chapter in evangelization. Pope Francis has captured the attention of the world with his simple ways, humbleness, and love for the poor and sick.

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