Meet Pope Francis

Meet Pope Francis

Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on December 17, 1936, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He felt the call of God and was ordained a Jesuit priest on December 13, 1969. A Jesuit means that he belongs to the order known as the Society of Jesus, founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola. Jesuits are known for traveling the world to spread the word of God and being missionaries who serve the poor and fight injustice.

In Rome, Pope Francis, or Francisco, is known as il Papa, which means Father. The pope is the Bishop of Rome and the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. He lives in Vatican City, which is a municipality inside the city of Rome. In his time as pope, Francis has shared a vision of Church that emphasizes hope, mercy, and care for each other. Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope.

By Tânia Rêgo/ABr (Agência Brasil) [CC-BY-3.0-br (], via Wikimedia Commons?

Download a free infographic, The Pope of Mercy. Print this poster-sized resource (11” x 17”) for classroom display, or send copies home with your students for families to learn more about Pope Francis.


Name: Jorge Mario Bergoglio

Born: December 17, 1936

Where: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Family: He is the eldest of five children, born to Italian emigrants who settled in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Favorite Soccer Team is the San Lorenzo de Almagro football club

He once worked as a bar bouncer and a janitor before joining the Jesuits.

Ordained: December 13, 1969

Order: the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits.

Became Pope: March 13, 2013

Chose the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi, who is known for his care for the poor

2015 Papal Visit to the United States
Find links to speeches and homilies from the September, 2015, visit to Washington, DC, New York City, and Philadelphia.

Find Your Pope Name

The papal name chosen is thought to be an indicator of what kind of papal reign the new pontiff hopes to emulate. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was thought to have chosen Benedict after Benedict XV, who had a relatively short reign at only seven and a half years, and St. Benedict of Nursia, who founded and inspired the Benedictine monastic tradition in the Western Church. Think about who you emulate and are inspired by. It can be someone you know personally, such as a family member or friend, or a person who is known for how he or she lived his or her life, such as Saint Mother Teresa or Saint Ignatius. On a separate sheet of paper, write your chosen name and explain what it means to you. 

Pray for the Pope, Pray for the World

When the pope has an official papal decree or blessing, it is common for him to say “Urbi et Orbi” which means “to the city and for the world.” The pope is also the Bishop of Rome, but when he says Urbi et Orbi, he is speaking not just to the city of Rome but to the Catholics around the world. Write a brief prayer of thanks for the pope, asking God to watch over him as he leads the Catholics around the world. These prayers can remain private or be shared with the group, if you choose.

Here, There, God is Everywhere!

Pope Francis comes from a Jesuit education, which follows an approach to spirituality that was founded by St. Ignatius. Ignatian spirituality is rooted in our awareness that God can be found in every one, every place, and in everything. On a separate sheet of paper, write where you find God in your everyday life, whether it’s in people you know, places you visit, or things you enjoy. If you choose, share your list with your family or friends.

Please feel free to share these images with your friends by email or through social media:

English Version

Spanish Version

 PF Readings

On Hope

Pope Francis has a simple, life-changing message: God’s love can grace us with a lasting and sustaining hope, no matter how dark or confusing our situation.

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Sobre la esperanza

El Papa Francisco ofrece un mensaje simple y transformador: el amor de Dios nos ofrece la gracia de una esperanza duradera y sustentadora, sin importar lo oscuro o confuso de nuestra situación.

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Embracing the Way of Jesus: Reflections from Pope Francis on Living Our Faith

Reflections from Pope Francis on what it really means to be a disciple of Jesus today, and how that identity should guide our every thought and action.

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The Church of Mercy: A Vision for the Church

Readers get a first-hand look at Pope Francis’s vision of the good news of Christian hope and mercy.

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Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads

Chris Lowney

Best-selling author Chris Lowney delves into what made Pope Francis who he is today and the impact of his Jesuit formation.

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Pope Francis: Life and Revolution

Elisabetta Piqué

Pope Francis: Life and Revolution offers unique insights into how the Pope thinks and feels; his work for the poor; and his vision for the Church.

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El Papa Francisco: vida y revolución

Elisabetta Piqué

El Papa Francisco: vida y revolución ofrece una visión única de la forma de pensar y sentir del Papa, de cómo trabaja en favor de los pobres y de su visión para la Iglesia.

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Walking with Jesus: A Way Forward for the Church

In Walking with Jesus: A Way Forward for the Church, Pope Francis urges us to make Jesus central in our individual lives and in the collective life of the Church—to walk toward him, and ultimately to walk with him, at all times and in all places.

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The Joy of Discipleship: Reflections from Pope Francis on Walking with Christ

Reflections from Pope Francis on what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus, and how discipleship can frame and form our everyday lives as Christians.

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Dear Pope Francis: The Pope Answers Letters from Children Around the World

Small children have BIG questions. In Dear Pope Francis, Pope Francis answers thirty questions from children around the world.

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Querido Papa Francisco: El Papa responde a las cartas de niños de todo el mundo

Los niños pequeños tienen GRANDES preguntas. En Querido Papa Francisco, el Papa Francisco responde directamente a las preguntas de niños de todo el mundo.

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Dear Pope Francis banner
If you could ask Pope Francis one question, what would it be?

In Dear Pope Francis, the Pope answers questions from children around the world. Learn more about the Pope’s first book for children.