Pope Francis

Cardinal Bergoglio Becomes First Latin American Pontiff

Special to the Fatima Network
Rome: March 13, 2013

Argentina’s Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope on the final ballot today, becoming the Church’s first Latin American pontiff after a conclave to elect a leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

The final vote took place on the second day of the Conclave.

Bergoglio is the first Jesuit to become Pope and is believed to have been the runner-up in 2005, which resulted in the election of Cardinal Ratzinger.

Of note is his election on the thirteenth of the month which has special meaning for many devotees and promoters of the Fatima Message. Sister Lucy, one of the three child seers of the Fatima apparitions, considered the thirteenth day of every month as belonging to, and indeed dedicated to, Our Lady of Fatima.

Also of note is the name chosen by Cardinal Bergoglio — Francis — after Saint Francis of Assisi, who was told by Christ on the Cross in the Church of San Damiano, in Italy, to go and rebuild the house of God which is being destroyed — that is, to rebuild the Church.

Unlike Cardinal Ratzinger who was well-known prior to his papal election, most in the English-speaking world are not as familiar with Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis.

Here is what has been reported about our new Pope.

“A man who cooks his own meals, gets around by bus, lives in a little flat and who works daily with the people of the cardboard cities of Buenos Aries is an unlikely candidate for pope,” wrote Australia’s Herald Sun at the time.

In his Archdiocese of Buenos Aires (the last assignment as Cardinal prior to his election to the papacy) there are two parishes dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima where special devotions in honor of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart are practiced particularly on the First Saturday of the month.

St. Peter's the night of the papal election – photos by John Vennari

The following are the new Pope's biographical details:

Birth: December 17, 1936, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was one of five children born to an Italian railway worker and his housewife.

Education: Obtained the diploma of technician in chemistry. Entered the Seminary of Villa Devoto, Buenos Aires. Joined the Society of Jesus, March 11, 1958. Novitiate in Chile (humanities); attended Colegio Máximo San José, San Miguel, Buenos Aires (Licentiate in Philosophy); Professor of Literature and Psychology at Colegio de la Inmaculada, Santa Fe, and at Colegio del Salvador, Buenos Aires; Colegio Máximo de San Miguel (theology). Besides his native Spanish, he also speaks Italian and German.

Priesthood: Ordained, December 13, 1969, by Ramón José Castellano, Titular Archbishop of Giomnio. Further studies, 1969-1971; third probation, Alcalá de Henares, Spain, 1971-1972; took final vows, April 22, 1973. Master of Novices, Villa Barilari, San Miguel, 1972-1973; professor in the Theological Faculty; consultor of the Jesuit province and rector of the Colegio Máximo. Elected provincial of Argentina, July 31, 1973. Spent some time in Germany. On his return, assigned to Colegio del Salvador, Córdoba and then, spiritual director and confessor, Jesuit Church, Córdoba. Rector of Colegio Máximo de San Miguel and of its Philosophical and Theological Faculties, 1980-1986.

Episcopate: Elected Titular Bishop of Auca and appointed auxiliary of Buenos Aires, May 20, 1992. Consecrated, June 27, 1992, cathedral of Buenos Aires, by Cardinal Antonio Quarracino, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, assisted by Emilio Ognoñévich, Bishop of Mercedes-Luján, and by Ubaldo Calabresi, Titular Archbishop of Fondi, Nuncio in Argentina. His episcopal motto is Miserando atque eligendo. Attended the Ninth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 2 to 29, 1994. Promoted to Archbishop Coadjutor of Buenos Aires, June 3, 1997. Attended the Special Assembly for America of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, November 16 to December 12, 1997. Succeeded to the metropolitan see of Buenos Aires, February 28, 1998. Ordinary for the faithful of the Oriental rite in Argentina without an ordinary for their own rite, November 30, 1998. Grand chancellor of the Catholic University of Argentina. Second vice-president of the Episcopal Conference of Argentina.

Cardinalate: Created cardinal priest in the consistory of February 21, 2001; received the red biretta and the title of S. Roberto Bellarmino, February 21, 2001. Member of the Congregations for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, for the Clergy, for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life; of the Pontifical Council for the Family; and of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. Attended the Tenth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 30 to October 27, 2001; relator general adjunct. Participated in the conclave of April 18 to 19, 2005, which elected Pope Benedict XVI. Attended the Eleventh General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 2 to 23, 2005. On November 9, 2005, he was elected president of the Episcopal Conference of Argentina for the triennium of 2005-2008; reelected for the triennium 2008-2011 on November 11, 2008. Participated in the Fifth General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate that took place from May 13 to 31, 2007, in Aparecida, Brazil. Named member of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America on February 23, 2013.

Elected Pope on March 13, 2013. Took the name Francis.

The Fatima Message tells us "Pray a great deal for the Holy Father".

The Fatima Network is here in Rome and will have more on the new Pope in subsequent reports. Stay tuned.

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