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Francis  born Jorge Mario Bergoglio] on 17 December 1936) is the 266th and current Pope of the  Catholic Church, elected on 13 March 2013. As such, he is Bishop of Rome, the head of the worldwide Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State.

Born in Buenos Aires of Italian descent, Bergoglio worked briefly as a chemical technician before entering seminary; he was ordained in 1969. From 1973 to 1979 he was Argentina's Provincial superior of the Society of Jesus, became Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, and was created cardinal in 2001. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, on 13 March 2013 the papal conclave elected Bergoglio, who chose the papal name Francis in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi - the first pope to have taken the name, Francis. Bergoglio is also the first Jesuit=;p pope; the first pope from the Americas, and the first pope from the Southern Hemisphere.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Flores, a district of Buenos Aires. He was the eldest of five children of Mario José Bergoglio, an Italian immigrant railway worker born in Portacomaro (Province of Asti) in Italy's Piedmont region, and his wife Regina María Sívori, a housewife born in Buenos Aires to a family of northern Italian (Piedmontese-Genoese) origin.Bergoglio's sister María Elena told reporters decades later that her father often said that "the advent of fascism was the reason that really pushed him to leave" Italy. She is the pope's only living sibling.Bergoglio has been a supporter of the San Lorenzo de Almagro football club since his childhood. Bergoglio is also a fan of the films of Tita Merello and of neorealism and of tango dancing, with an "intense fondness" for the traditional music of Argentina and Uruguay known as the milonga.  Bergoglio was named Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992 and was ordained on 27 June 1992 as Titular Bishop of Auca,] with Cardinal Antonio Quarracino, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, serving as principal consecrator. At the consistory of 21 February 2001, Archbishop Bergoglio was created a cardinal by Pope John Paul II with the title of cardinal-priest of San Roberto Bellarmino, a church served by Jesuits and named for one. When he traveled to Rome for the ceremony, he and his sister María Elena visited the village in northern Italy where their father was born. Bergoglio was finally elected pope on March 13, 2013.

 

Large crowds come together at Palm Sunday to be anointed  by our new pope, Pope Francis.

Our new pope, Pope Francis greeting the crowd of Catholics who flooded the vatican, arfter being elected by 2/3 of the cardinal to be our leader. 

Our new pope, and our previous pope meeting for a private lunch.

Our new pope, Pope Francis in fervent prayer with cardinals surrounding him after being elected.

Pope Francis and his predecessor Benedict prayed together before having lunch in a historic meeting Saturday.

Benedict made clear that he deferred to Francis as pope while Francis made clear he considered his predecessor to be a revered brother and equal.

Today's meeting is the first between two popes in more than 600 years as the Catholic Church finds itself in the unusual position of having two alive at the same time.

Traveling from the helipad to the palazzo, Francis sat on the right-hand side of the car, the traditional place of the pope, while Benedict sat on the left.

Francis brought a gift to Benedict, an icon of the Madonna, and told him that it is known as the 'Madonna of Humility.'

'I thought of you,' Francis told him as he presented the gift.

'You gave us so many signs of humility and gentleness in your pontificate.'

Benedict replied: 'Grazie, grazie.' 

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said he understands Benedict reiterated his pledge of obedience to the new pope, while Francis thanked Benedict for his ministry.

He said they both wore white, though Benedict was in a simple cassock and a quilted white jacket without the traditional sash and cape worn by Francis.