Who is Pope Francis?

Pope Francis is the head of the Catholic Church. His name, before adopting the name Francis when he became Pope, was Jorge Bergoglio.

Bergolgio was born on December 17, 1936 in Argentina.

He entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), a Catholic religious order, in 1958.

He was ordained priest in 1969.

After serving in leading positions in his religious order, he was ordained Auxiliary Bishop in Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, in 1992.

He was named Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998.

He was elevated to the rank of Cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II.

He was elected Pope on March 13, 2013, taking the name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Aside from his attendance at the World Youth Day in 2013, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the visit to the Holy Land is Pope Francis’ first visit outside of Italy.