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The Life and Ministry of Pope Francis

Prior to his Papacy  2013  2014  2015

Key Events Before his Papacy

December 17, 1936: Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Italian immigrant parents.

1957: Falls severely sick of pneumonia at age 21, and his right lung is partially removed.

March 11, 1958: Enters the novitiate of the Society of Jesus.

March 12, 1960: Takes his first vows as Jesuit.

1961-1963: Studies philosophy at San Miguel Seminary in Buenos Aires.

December 13, 1969:
Is ordained priest.

1973: Professes his perpetual vows as Jesuit.

1973 – 1979: Serves as superior of Jesuit province of Argentina and Uruguay.

1979-1985: Serves as theology teacher and rector of Colegio Maximo.

1986: Finishes his doctoral thesis in Germany.

June 27, 1992: Is ordained auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires.

June 3, 1997:
Is named coadjutor archbishop of Buenos Aires.

February 28, 1998: Is installed as archbishop of Buenos Aires.

February 21, 2001: Is elevated to cardinal.

April 2005: Participates in Conclave that elects Pope Benedict XVI.

September 2009: Launches a solidarity campaign for the 200th anniversary of the independence of Argentina with the goal of creating 200 charitable agencies by 2016.

2013 Notable Events

March 13, 2013: Is elected pope by a conclave of 115 cardinals and takes the name Francis. He becomes the first pope from the Americas, the first Jesuit, the 266th pope in the history of the Catholic Church, and the 265th successor of St. Peter.

March 14, 2013: Meets with the College of Cardinals

March 17, 2013: Delivers the first Angelus address of his papacy and greets the crowds from the papal apartment in St. Peter's Square.

March 19, 2013: Presides at Mass to inaugurate his Petrine ministry on the Feast of St. Joseph, Patron of the Church in St. Peter's Square.

March 23, 2013: Travels to Castel Gandolfo to meet for the first time with his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. This is the first time in history that the current pope meets with his predecessor, according to the Vatican.

March 28, 2013: Travels to Casal del Marmo Penitentiary Institute for Minors to celebrate the Lord's Supper Mass on Holy Thursday. Washed the feet of ten boys and two girls stressing the need of service and humility.

April 4, 2013: Vatican sends a telegram expressing concern for the victims of severe weather that killed 56 people and left many more injured and homeless in Argentina.

April 5, 2013:
Meets in audience with Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and recommends that the congregation acts decisively with regard to cases of sexual abuse.

April 8, 2013: Takes possession of the Cathedra of the Bishop of Rome at the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

April 10, 2013: Expresses nearness to and prays for the victims of the earthquake in Iran.

April 13, 2013: Appoints a group of cardinals, including Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, to advise him on church government and on a plan to revise the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia.

April 15, 2013: Meets in audience with the Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy Brey, who presents him a jersey of the country's Soccer Team, current World Cup Champion.

April 16, 2013: Expresses profound grief for the attacks in Boston, Massachusetts, that killed 3 people and injured more than 180.

April 30, 2013: Receives in audience President Shimon Peres of Israel, and talks about peace in the Middle East.

May 1, 2013: On the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, in his catechesis, notes that work is a fundamental element for the dignity of people.

May 2, 2013: Greets Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at his new permanent residence at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery.

May 12, 2013: Presides at canonization Mass for Mexican religious sister Saint Guadalupe García Zavala, Saint Laura Montoya Upegui from Colombia, and Saint Antonio Primaldo and Companions, also known as the Martyrs of Otranto.

June 29, 2013: Releases his first encyclical letter Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith).

July 6, 2013: Approves the sainthood and speeds up the canonization process for Blessed Pope John Paul II and Blessed Pope John XXIII.

July 8, 2013: Travels to Lampedusa. Speaks about the "Globalization of indifference" and prays for the immigrants who have sought refuge there, including those who have lost their lives in the attempt.

July 11, 2013: Issues Apostolic Letter on the Jurisdiction of Judicial Authorities of Vatican City State in Criminal Matters.

July 19, 2013: Establishes a committee of clerics and lay experts to improve the Vatican's finances and transparency.

July 22-29, 2013: Makes first foreign apostolic journey to Brazil for World Youth Day.

July 24, 2013: Celebrates Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil, during World Youth Day.

August 8, 2013: Issues Apostolic Letter for the countering of money laundering, the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

September 30, 2013: Presides over a public consistory and decreed that his predecessors, Blessed John Paul II and Blessed John XXIII will be inscribed in the book of saints on April 27, 2014, Divine Mercy Sunday.

October 7, 2013
: Receives USCCB delegation headed by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, USCCB president, and representatives of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at the Vatican.

October 24, 2013: Suspends German Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg, accused of spending millions of dollars on lavish renovations to his residence.

Nov. 9, 2013: Vatican issues a worldwide survey on social issues in advance of the third Extraordinary General Assembly of Bishops on the theme: "The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization." The Synod is slated to take place October 5-19, 2014.

November 15, 2013: Issues Apostolic Letter approving the new statutes of the Financial Intelligence Authority.

November 24, 2013: Releases Evangelii Gaudium, (The Joy of the Gospel) his first apostolic exhortation on the proclamation of the Gospel in today's world.

November 26, 2013: Receives Russian president Vladimir Putin at the Vatican.

December 11, 2013: Is named Time magazine's person of the year.

December 17, 2013: Appoints Cardinal Donald Wuerl to the Congregation for Bishops.

December 24, 2013: Meets with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the monastery Mater Ecclesia. Also visits children at a local hospital.

December 24-25, 2013:
Celebrates his first Midnight Mass as head of the Roman Catholic Church at St. Peter's Basilica.

2014 Notable Events

January 16, 2014: Receives in audience Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles.

January 30, 2014: Receives a delegation from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, at the Vatican on the occasion of the inauguration of the University's "Rome Center."

February 19, 2014:
Appoints Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Archbishop William C. Skurla of the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, as members of the Congregation for Eastern Churches.

February 22, 2014:
On the occasion of the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, 19 new cardinals from 12 countries around the world, including Asia, Africa and Latin America are officially installed at a special consistory for the creation of new cardinals.

February 24, 2014: Issues Apostolic Letter establishing a new coordinating agency for the economic and administrative affair of the Holy See and Vatican City State.

March 27, 2014: Receives in audience U.S. President Barack Obama at the Vatican.

April 3, 2014: Received Queen Elizabeth II at the Vatican.

April 12: Washes the feet of 12 patients during the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday.The Mass was celebrated in the Chapel of the Santa Maria della Provvidenza Centre, in Italy.

April 27, 2014:
Presides Holy Mass and Canonization of Blesseds Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII from St. Peter's Square.

April 28-30: Holds fourth meeting with the "Council of Cardinals" on Church governance and to develop a plan to revise the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia.

May 24-26, 2014:
Leads a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and meets with Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the leaders of the Churches in Jerusalem to commemorate and renew the commitment to unity expressed 50 years earlier by Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople.

May 26, 2014: Prays for victims of the Holocaust and of terrorist attacks during a visit to the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem.Meets with Holocaust survivors and hears their personal stories.

June 8, 2014: Leads an unprecedented prayer service for peace in the Middle East. Israel's President,

June 26, 2014: Vatican releases working document "The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization," ahead of the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

June 29, 2014:
Twenty-four recently installed archbishops from around the world, including Archbishop Leonard Blair of Hartford, Connecticut, receive the pallium at a special liturgy at the Vatican celebrated on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul.

July 7, 2014: Meets for the first time with six survivors of clerical sexual abuse at the Vatican and reiterates his message of zero tolerance, accountability and continued commitment to prevention.

July 14, 2014: Sends a message to the international community urging intervention and protection of minors in the humanitarian crisis of thousands of migrant children from Central America fleeing to the United States.

July 22, 2014: Names Fr. John W. Crossin, executive director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, as consultant to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. He appointed three new members and 10 consultants.

July 27, 2014: Extends a plea to stop armed conflicts in the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine as he recalled the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, observed July 28.

August 13-18, 2014: Apostolic journey to South Korea on the occasion of the 6th Asian Youth Day and the beatification of 123 Korean martyrs.

August 18, 2014: Sends a letter to Cardinal Justin Rigali, appointed as his Special Envoy for the celebration in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis on August 24, 2014, marking the 250th anniversary of the founding of the City of St. Louis.

August 21, 2014: Expresses condolences over a phone call to the parents of American journalist James Foley, killed by the Islamic State group in Syria.

September 4, 2014: Holds an online, worldwide video conference with students of the Scholas Occurrentes social network in five continents.

September 20, 2014: Appoints Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Spokane, Washington, as Archbishop of Chicago.

September 21, 2014:
Apostolic journey to Albania.

September 23, 2014:
Message on the occasion of the celebration of the 101st World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 2015.

October 5-19, 2014: Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on "The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization."

November 25, 2014: Addresses the members of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France.

November 28, 2014: Issues Apostolic Letter on the occasion of the Year of Consecrated Life.

November 28-30, 2014: Apostolic journey to Turkey.

November 30, 2015: Issues his message for the opening of the Year of Consecrated Life.

December 2, 2014:
Joined by Anglican, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu religious leaders, Pope Francis signs a jointFaith Leaders' Universal Declaration Against Slavery on the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.

December 9, 2014: Message on the occasion of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.

December 23, 2014: Letter to persecuted Christians in the Middle East.

December 25, 2014: Delivers his message Urbi et Orbi.

2015 Notable Events

January 12-19, 2015: Apostolic journey to Sri-Lanka and the Philippines. Canonizes St. Joseph Vaz, Sri Lanka's first saint.

February 14, 2015:
20 new cardinals from countries around the world, including Asia and Latin America are officially installed at a special consistory for the creation of new cardinals.

April 6, 2015: Celebrates Mass of the Lord's Supper in the Rebibbia prison in Rome and washes the feet of 12 detainees.

May 23, 2015: Sent letter to the Archbishop of San Salvador on the occasion of the beatification of Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero.

June 6, 2015:
Apostolic visit to Sarajevo (Bosnia).

June 18, 2015: Issued Encyclical Letter Laudato si' on care for our common home.

July 5-12, 2015:
Apostolic journey to Paraguay, Ecuador and Bolivia

September 8, 2015: Issues Apostolic Letters on the reform of canonical procedure for the annulment of marriage in the Code of Canon Law.

September 19-27, 2015: Apostolic Journey to Cuba and to the United States. Pope Francis addresses Congress and the United Nations.


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