Timeline of an unlikely Pope, the life of Francis

16 Mar 2013

By The Record

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was elected pope 13 March 2013. The 76-year-old Jesuit took the name Francis. He is pictured in a 2009 photo. Photo: CNS/Marcos Brindicci, Reuters.

Pope Francis was elected to succeed Pope Benedict XVI on March 13 by the conclave of cardinals.

He is the first pope from the Americas, the first Jesuit and the first to take the name Francis.

A timeline of his life follows:

  • Dec. 17, 1936: Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Italian immigrant parents.
  • 1957: At age 21, falls gravely ill; eventually severe pneumonia is diagnosed, right lung partially removed.
  • March 11, 1958: Enters novitiate of the Society of Jesus.
  • March 12, 1960: Takes first vows as Jesuit.
  • 1960: Studies humanities in Padre Hurtado, Chile.
  • 1961-1963: Studies philosophy at San Miguel Seminary, Buenos Aires.
  • 1964-1965: Teaches high school literature and psychology at Jesuit secondary school in Santa Fe.
  • 1966: Teaches at prestigious Colegio del Salvador secondary school in Buenos Aires.
  • 1967-1970: Studies theology at San Miguel seminary.
  • Dec. 13, 1969: Ordained as a priest.
  • 1970-1971: Spends “tertianship,” or Third Probation period of Jesuit formation, in Spain.
  • 1971-1973: Serves as master of novices and vice chancellor, San Miguel seminary.
  • 1973: Takes perpetual profession as Jesuit.
  • 1973-1979: Serves as superior of Jesuit province of Argentina and Uruguay.
  • 1979-1985: Serves as rector of Colegio Maximo and theology teacher.
  • 1986: Goes to Germany to finish doctoral thesis.
  • June 27, 1992: Ordained auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires.
  • June 3, 1997: Named coadjutor archbishop.
  • Feb. 28, 1998: Installed as archbishop of Buenos Aires.
  • 2001: Co-presides over Synod of Bishops.
  • Feb. 21, 2001: Elevated to cardinal.
  • 2005: Receives second-highest number of votes in conclave that elected Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as pope.
  • 2005-2011: Serves as president, Argentine Bishops Conference.
  • March 13, 2013: Elected pope by conclave of 115 cardinals.