Here are 20 facts to know about Jorge Mario Bergoglio, or Pope Francis, who was elected Wednesday as Benedict XVI’s successor.
1. He’s from Buenos Aires, making him the first pope from Latin America.
2. That also makes him the first pope born outside of Europe in more than 1,000 years.
3. He’s the first Jesuit pope.
4. He is 76.
5. He chose the name Francis in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, a 13th-century monk known for his charity and kindness to animals.
6. Before his election, he was the archbishop of Buenos Aires.
7. He is known for leading a simple life, eschewing a mansion to live in a Spartan apartment.
8. He rode mass transit in Argentina, and chose to take a minivan with the other cardinals after he was elected pope rather than ride in a special sedan.
9. He cooks his own meals.
10. In his youth, he enjoyed dancing the tango with a girlfriend before discovering a “religious vocation.”
11. He trained as a chemist.
12. He is one of five children and his parents were from Italy.
13. He has been criticized for not speaking out against Argentina’s military dictatorship in the 1970s and 1980s.
14. He slammed other Latin American priests who objected to the baptizing of children born out of wedlock.
15. He was critical of Argentina’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage, calling it “a destructive attack on God’s plan.” He also opposes gay people’s adopting children.
16. In 2001, he washed the feet of 12 patients with AIDS at an Argentine hospice.
17. He speaks three languages: Spanish, Italian and German.
18. He had a lung removed as a teenager, after an infection.
19. He is rumored to have been the runner-up in 2005, losing that papal election to Benedict XVI.
20. After being elected pope, he remained standing on the same level as the cardinal-electors rather than sitting in a throne.