Only the commandment of love, in all its simplicity - steady, humble, unassuming but firm in conviction and in commitment to others - can save us." - Te Deum homily of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, May 25, 2012
As Pope Francis speaks from a new and much larger pulpit, it is easy to forget not only the many challenges he faced as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but also the many events that shaped the perspective he is now sharing as pope.
This collection of homilies, letters, and talks from his years as cardinal in Argentina reveals his consistent love for the poor and joy in Christ as he covers a wide range of topics of interest to all Catholics - marriage, prayer, faith, education, evangelization, the elderly, children, the homeless, vocations, and more.
The frank and open style that has endeared him to the world as pope is fully evident in these approachable pieces that give insight into the mind of the man who would become Pope Francis.
Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on 17 December 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a young man, he worked briefly as a chemical technician and nightclub bouncer before entering the Jesuits. He was ordained a priest in 1969, and from 1973 to 1979, was Argentina’s Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus. He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, and was appointed a Cardinal in 2001.
Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013, Bergoglio was named his successor on 13 March. He chose the name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. He is the first Jesuit Pope, the first Pope from the Americas, the first Pope from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first non-European Pope in over 1200 years.
Pope Francis has been noted for his humility, his concern for the poor, and his commitment to dialogue as a way to build bridges between people of all backgrounds, beliefs, and faiths.