On This Day

Pope Francis

Pope Pope Francis
giulio napolitano / Shutterstock.com

Full Name: Jorge Mario Bergoglio
Profession: Pope


Biography: The current pope of the Roman Catholic Church.

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.

He has brought a simpler and less formal approach to the papacy and helped return its focus to social justice and away from identity politics.

Thus while maintaining the Church's teaching against homosexual acts and abortion, he has stated that gay people should not be marginalized and allowed priests to absolve women of the "sin" of abortion.

Born: December 17, 1936
Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Age: 85 years old

Generation: Silent Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Rat
Star Sign: Sagittarius

Historical Events

  • 2013-03-13 Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is elected the new pope, taking the papal name Pope Francis
  • 2013-03-17 Pope Francis delivers his first Angelus prayer and blessing
  • 2013-03-28 Pope Francis becomes the first Pope to wash the feet of women in the Maundy Thursday service
  • 2013-05-12 Pope Francis canonizes the 813 martyrs of Otranto as Saints
  • 2013-05-16 Pope Francis calls for ethical financial reform to fight speculation
  • 2013-12-06 Pope Francis gives his ascent to a proposal to create a permanent post on the Pontifical Commission on cases of sin and sexual abuse of minors
  • 2013-12-11 Pope Francis is named Time magazine's person of the year
  • 2014-02-24 Pope Francis creates a second Secretariat with the power to audit any Vatican agency at any time
  • 2014-04-03 Pope Francis canonizes François de Laval, first bishop of Quebec, as a Catholic saint
  • 2015-06-18 Pope Francis blames human selfishness for global warming in his encyclical, named "Laudato Si (Be Praised), On the Care of Our Common Home"
  • 2015-09-01 Pope Francis tells priests to pardon women who have had an abortion, in a letter released by the Vatican
  • 2015-09-08 Pope Francis announces moves to streamline the annulment process within the Catholic Church
  • 2015-09-20 Pope Francis meets Fidel Castro in Havana, on the 1st day of his tour of Cuba
  • 2015-09-22 Pope Francis greeted by President Obama and Vice President Biden as he arrives at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, for his 6 day tour of the US
  • 2015-09-24 Pope Francis becomes the 1st pope to address the US Congress. Names Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day as his American heroes.
  • 2015-11-25 Pope Francis begins his trip to Africa, visiting Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic
  • 2015-11-30 Pope Francis urges peace while visiting controversial mosque in Bangui's PK5 district in Central African Republic
  • 2016-02-12 Pope Francis begins his visit to Mexico, arriving at “Benito Juarez” International Airport in Mexico City
  • 2016-02-12 Pope Francis meets Patriarch Kirill in Havana - first meeting between Catholic and Russian Orthodox church heads for nearly 1,000 years
  • 2016-02-18 Pope Francis questions US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump's Christianity over his call to build a wall on the Mexican border
  • 2016-09-04 Mother Teresa canonized by Pope Francis in a ceremony at the Vatican
  • 2017-05-13 Portuguese children Francisco and Jacinta Marto (died 1919 & 1920 aged 10 & 9 in flu epidemic) canonized by Pope Francis at Fátima - the youngest Catholic saints not to die as martyrs
  • 2017-05-23 US President Donald Trump meets Pope Francis at the Vatican
  • 2017-11-27 Pope Francis begins a three-day trip to Myanmar, amid the Rohingya refugee crisis
  • 2018-01-15 Pope Francis arrives in Chile for a three-day visit amid child sexual abuse claims against church clergy
  • 2018-03-06 Pope Francis announces that murdered Salvadorean Archbishop Óscar Romero will be made a saint
  • 2018-05-18 All of Chile's 34 Roman Catholic bishops offer their resignation to Pope Francis in wake of child sex scandal
  • 2018-08-16 Pope Francis and the Vatican issues statement in support of the 300 victims of "predator priests" in Pennsylvania
  • 2018-08-20 Pope Francis releases letter to all Catholics condemning sexual abuse atrocities and clerical cover-ups "We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them"
  • 2018-08-26 Pope Francis asks for forgiveness in speech on child abuse in Dublin, during first official visit to Ireland since 1979
  • 2018-08-26 Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former US Vatican Ambassador, claims Pope Francis knew of and ignored sex abuse allegations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick
  • 2018-09-13 Pope Francis meets with leaders of the American Catholic Church in Rome to discuss sexual abuse
  • 2018-10-13 Pope Francis defrocks two Chilean bishops for alleged sexual abuse of minors
  • 2019-02-03 Pope Francis arrives in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on the first ever papal visit to the Arabian peninsula
  • 2019-02-05 Pope Francis admits for the first time that clerics have sexually abused nuns
  • 2019-02-16 Pope Francis defrocks ex-cardinal and archbishop of Washington Theodore McCarrick for sexually abusing minors and adults. First Cardinal to be removed for sexual abuse.
  • 2019-02-24 Roman Catholic Church summit on paedophilia ends with Pope Francis promising more action and calling those guilty "tools of Satan"
  • 2019-03-30 Pope Francis arrives in Rabat, Morocco, on his first-ever visit to the Magreb region of Northern Africa
  • 2019-04-27 Pope Francis donates $500,000 for migrants stranded in Mexico trying to reach the US
  • 2019-05-09 Pope Francis introduces new rules on reporting sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, criticized for not going far enough
  • 2019-07-04 Russian President Vladmir Putin meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican
  • 2019-09-08 Estimated 1 million attend a mass held by Pope Francis near Antananarivo, Madagascar
  • 2019-10-13 Pope Francis canonizes John Henry Newman, British theologian and Catholic priest as a saint
  • 2019-11-29 Wood fragment believed to be from Jesus' manger returned to Bethlehem after 1400 years by Pope Francis
  • 2020-04-12 Pope Francis calls for the world to be united in the face of COVID-19 as he delivers his Easter message from an empty St Peter's Cathedral in Rome
  • 2020-10-21 Pope Francis backs same-sex civil unions in interview in documentary film "Francesco"
  • 2020-10-25 Pope Francis announces appointment of 13 new cardinals including 1st African American Wilton Daniel Gregory
  • 2021-01-14 Pope Francis, 84, and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
  • 2021-03-06 On his first visit to Iraq, Pope Francis meets with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in the Shiite cleric's home in Najaf
  • 2021-07-04 Pope Francis undergoes surgery to remove part of his colon in Rome

Famous Popes