Pope Francis, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was elected on 13 March 2013 the 267th Successor of St. Peter as Bishop of Rome, and thereby Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church. He succeeded Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger, who resigned on 28 February 2013 owing to “a lack of strength in mind and body” - the first papal resignation in 498 years. The first member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) to be elected, Pope Francis is also the first Pope from the Americas, from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first non-European since the 8th century (Gregory III). He is also the third consecutive non-Italian to be elected (Poland, Germany, Argentina).
Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 17 December 1936. He entered the Jesuits in 1958, in which he served in several offices, including Provincial Superior. Elected an auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992 by Pope John Paul II, he was elevated to the office of Archbishop in 1998, and made a Cardinal and papal elector in 2001. It was out of this office that he was elected Pope at the age of 76.