Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Argentine Pope Francis has shaken many foundations of the Catholic Church during his brief time as the religion’s leader. Besides being the first Pope to hail from the Americas, Francis has opened a dialogue between Catholics and the world on controversial issues from climate change to gay rights.
Growing up in Argentina within a family of relatively poor Italian immigrants, young Pope Francis first pursued a practical career as a chemical technician before deciding to lead a religious life with the Jesuits, a scholarly religious congregation within the Catholic Church. He studied voraciously, going through seminary school and acquiring several higher degrees after graduation. While pursuing his Ph.D., Francis also taught university classes in philosophy and theology before finishing his doctoral thesis in Germany.
After gaining the respect of local archbishops and cardinals, promotion came swiftly for the young priest, who soon climbed the ranks of the clergy from Provincial to Cardinal, before becoming Pope in 2013 at age 77.
Francis has been known throughout his entire public life to stand for generosity and selflessness. He famously encouraged supporters to not travel to Rome, but to donate to the poor what they would have spent on the trip. This chief position comes adorned with many luxuries from the palatial Papal Apartments to personal chefs, but Francis has shunned these material things, opting instead to live “a normal life” in the Casa Santa Marta amongst other lesser priests and laypeople.
Still cooking his own meals, Pope Francis is an inspirational figure for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
Check out these 10 quotes from the Pontiff on how to live a satisfying life of love.