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Pope Francis: What You Should Know

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Yesterday, the Catholic Church elected a new Pope. Here are a few things we should know about Pope Francis I.

Was it just me or did you also feel connected to a billion people around the world when Jorge Mario Bergoglio arrived on the balcony at the Vatican as Pope Francis I? He wasn’t on my radar and talking to others, none of them expected him to be elected either, but I think it’s great and the more my friends and I learn about our new Pope, the more excited we get about it.

Did you know he was actually on track to become Pope in 2005 after the passing of Pope John Paul II? It was down to him and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He made an appeal on day two of the Conclave to choose someone else, so Joseph Ratzinger it was.

The talking heads on the news networks yesterday were discussing what a humble man Pope Francis is. The 76 year old pontiff is just two years younger than Pope Emeritus Benedict VXI and hails from Argentina, but his father was an immigrant from Italy. Pope Francis is the first non-European to become Pope in over a thousand years and he is a Jesuit priest which means he belongs to the Society of Jesus. At the heart of the Jesuits is reformation, which they believe begins with ourselves. They are also very focused on education and tolerance. He is also the first Pope ever from the Americas. There are over one billion Catholics in the world and almost half of them are in Latin America.

He is the first Pope to take the name Francis and a Vatican official says that he chose the name after St. Francis of Assisi; who was a champion of the poor. Pope Francis was known for visiting the poor and disenfranchised in the slums of Argentina. Pope Francis also took his vow of poverty very seriously, rejecting his chauffeured limousine in favor of public transportation and cooking his own meals, despite having a personal chef at his disposal.

Today, Pope Francis will hold mass with the Cardinals and he will be officially installed on Tuesday.

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