The Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God.
Pope Francis is the 266th Bishop of Rome. Francis was elected to the papacy on March 13, 2013, to replace Benedict XVI, who resigned from office two weeks earlier. Themes that have come to define Francis’ papacy include poverty, mercy, and joy.
Francis is the papal name of Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to two Italian immigrants, on December 17, 1936.
He holds advanced degrees in chemistry, philosophy, and theology. Before starting his seminary education, he worked as a janitor, a bar bouncer, and a lab assistant for a chemist. After several years of study, he entered the the Society of Jesus in 1958. After finishing his initial training, Bergoglio took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and became a Jesuit on March 12, 1960. He was ordained to the priesthood almost a decade later, in December 1969.
Prior to coming to Rome, Bergoglio served several roles as bishop in Argentina, including Metropolitan Archbishop. He was made a cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II, and held several administrative positions within the Roman Curia, the central governing body of the Catholic Church.