Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Getting to know Pope Francis

This week in OSV Newsweekly, a special 'In Focus' section introduces us to our new Holy Father, Pope Francis.

Matthew Bunson writes in 'New pope a humble, yet ardent preacher':
Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born Dec. 17, 1936, in the working class Flores neighborhood of Buenos Aires. The members of his family were considered true porteños, the name used for the inhabitants of Buenos Aires who are largely second- or third-generation descendants from immigrants with ties to the Old World. In the case of the Bergoglios, they were of Italian origin, immigrants from Turin. His father was Mario Bergoglio, a railway worker, and his mother, Regina Sivori, was a housewife who oversaw the early education of the family’s five children.  
Bergoglio initially wanted to pursue a career in chemistry, but his academic hopes were slowed owing to an infection that led to the removal of a portion of his right lung. He eventually graduated in chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires and is said to have expressed hopes of being married. As a young man he was fond of the tango, and he has never lost his love for the San Lorenzo de Almagro soccer club of Buenos Aires.  
Click to read more about his decision to enter the priesthood, his life as a Jesuit, the meaning of this coat of arms, and more more. Dr. Bunson is the author of the new OSV book, Pope Francis, which will be available in April. More information here.


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