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Serving Christ and the Pope

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The Pope

The Society of Jesus has enjoyed a special relationship with the Supreme Pontiff dating back to our foundation as St. Ignatius and the first companions placed themselves at the disposal of the Holy Father.

The Society is the only religious congregation that has a specific vow of obedience to the Pope in regards to mission.

Pope Francis is known for his love of the poor, advising his priests to show mercy and apostolic courage and to keep their doors open to everyone.

And when he speaks of social justice, he asks people to pick up the Catechism, to rediscover the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes.

To date, his tenure has been characterized by humility and outspoken support of the world's poor and marginalized people, and he has been involved actively in areas of political diplomacy and environmental advocacy.


Profile of Pope Francis

1936/ December 17, he was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Italian immigrants
He graduated from a technical school as a chemical technician before beginning training at the Diocesan Seminary of Villa Devoto
1958/ March, he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus
1964-1965/ He taught literature and psychology at Immaculate Conception College in Santa Fé
1966/ He taught the same subjects at the Colegio del Salvatore in Buenos Aires
1967-1970/ He studied theology and received a degree from the Colegio of San José
1986/ Finished his doctoral thesis in theology in Freiburg, Germany


Entering Priesthood

1969/ December, he was ordained as a priest 
1973/ He began serving as Jesuit provincial of Argentina
1980-86/ He returned to his alma mater, the Colegio of San José, where he served as rector as well as a professor of theology
1992/ May 20, He was named titular bishop of Auca and auxiliary of Buenos Aires; he was ordained into that post a week later
1998/ February, he became archbishop of Buenos Aires, succeeding Antonio Quarracino
2001/ February, three years later, he was elevated to cardinal by Pope John Paul II, named the cardinal-priest of Saint Robert Bellarmino
2005/ He was named president of the Bishops' Conference of Argentina, serving in that position until 2011


Becoming Pope

2013/ March 13, at the age of 76, Jorge Bergoglio was named the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church—becoming the first citizen from the Americas, the first non-European and first Jesuit priest to be named pope, and adopting the name Pope Francis (he took the title after St. Francis of Assisi of Italy).

Prior to the 2013 papal conclave, Pope Francis had served as both archbishop and cardinal for more than 12 years. As Archbishop of Buenos Aires — a diocese with more than three million inhabitants — he conceived of a missionary project based on communion and evangelization.

Until his election as pope, he was a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for the Clergy, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.