Happy 87th birthday, Pope Francis!

Let us pray for the Holy Father as he asks us

Happy 87th birthday, Pope Francis! Today, December 17, 2023, the Holy Father celebrates his 11th birthday as Successor of Peter.

On the day of the birth of the current Pontiff, it is worth remembering that the request for prayers for him is constant in his speeches: “Please, do not forget to pray for me,” he repeats in practically all of his addresses.

Biography of the Holy Father

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1936, the son of Italian emigrants. Young Jorge discovered his vocation on September 21, 1953, the day on which the memory of Saint Matthew is celebrated, the tax collector who became apostle when Jesus invited him to follow him.

During a confession, he had a profound experience of God’s mercy, something that led him to make the decision to become a priest. In 1958, he entered the seminary and chose to complete his novitiate in the Society of Jesus.

Ordinations and creation as cardinal

He received priestly ordination on December 13, 1969, with the imposition of hands by the archbishop of Córdoba, Mons. Ramón José Castellano.

In 1973, he was named provincial of the Jesuits of Argentina. In 1992, he received episcopal ordination and in 1998 he was named archbishop of Buenos Aires, primate of Argentina. In the consistory of February 21, 2001, Saint John Paul II created him cardinal.

Election as Pope

On March 13, 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the first pope from the American continent. He wanted his first Mass outside the Vatican to be celebrated in a prison.

He was also the first Jesuit and pioneer to choose the name Francis, in honor of the saint of Assisi. He had as friends the poor, the last, the sick, the creatures of the Earth, Sister Moon and Brother Sun and peace of heart between men and nations, “friends” who will inspire the words and gestures of his Pontificate.

“A sinner who tries to do good”

In an interview with the Spanish journalist Carlos Herrera in September 2021, the current Bishop of Rome confessed that the appointment as Pope “caught him by surprise because he came with a small suitcase”, “I came as always. And I left the homilies for Holy Week prepared there in the bishopric.”

In the same way, Francis explained that in his career as Successor of Peter “there is nothing of mine invented, what I did from the beginning is to try to implement what we cardinals said in the pre-conclave meetings for the next Pope.”

Pope Bergoglio also shared that he would like to be remembered: “As what I am: a sinner who tries to do good.”

Thank you for everything, Holy Father!