Pope Francis: First Pope from the Americas

Pope Francis: First Pope from the Americas

by Stephanie Watson
     
 

On March 19, 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina became Pope Francis, the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church. His election to the papacy was notable in many ways. He became the first pope from the Americas, the first pope from the Southern Hemisphere, the first non-European pope in more than 1,200 years, the first Jesuit pope, and the first pope to

Overview

On March 19, 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina became Pope Francis, the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church. His election to the papacy was notable in many ways. He became the first pope from the Americas, the first pope from the Southern Hemisphere, the first non-European pope in more than 1,200 years, the first Jesuit pope, and the first pope to choose the name Francis.

Pope Francis was not the person that most people expected to ascend to the papacy when Pope Benedict XVI resigned from the role in late February 2013. While serving as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Cardinal Bergoglio was known for his dedication to helping the poor and admired for his modest lifestyle. After his inauguration, Pope Francis retained many of his humble ways. People around the globe eagerly watch to see what changes he might bring about in the Catholic Church.

Follow Pope Francis's journey to the papacy, from his days as a young chemist to his studies of theology. Learn more about his beliefs and hobbies—including his interests in soccer and tango dancing. Find out the true story behind the man who became the 266th pope.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Cathi I. White
On March 13, 2013, history was made at Vatican City in Rome, Italy. A new pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was named. The Catholic Church has named popes before, but never one from the Americas. The new pope, who would be called Pope Francis, is from Argentina. However, there are other differences from Pope Francis to that of the previous popes. For instance, Pope Francis made his first appearance before the crowd at Vatican City in a white papal robe instead of the red cape and large gold cross that other popes had worn. He also is a very humble man. He has washed the feet of people with AIDS and has fought for the rights of the poor. When he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he did not live in the elegant church mansion as other archbishops did. Instead, he lived in a simple room downtown. He liked to cook his own meals and rode the subway or bus, instead of having a chauffeur. While in Buenos Aires, he walked and talked to the poor and visited them often. He is known for his humility and his love for the poor. He chose the name Pope Francis after Saint Francis of Assisi, how devoted his life to the poor. Readers can learn more about Pope Francis' childhood, being part of the Catholic diocese, and how he has done since he became Pope. This enlightening book includes different pictures of the Pope growing up and as an adult, people he has worked with, and Vatican City, There is also a section for further reading and websites in the back of the book. This book is part of the Gateway Biographies. Parents, teachers, and children will enjoy reading and learning more about Pope Francis. Reviewer: Cathi I. White
Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-15
A serviceable biography introduces readers to the first pope from the Americas. Beginning with the long wait in Saint Peter's Square for the white smoke signaling the election of the new pope, the text moves to an exploration of the childhood of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the boy who would become Pope Francis. Facts that bring his story to life (he loved soccer and dancing the tango and has a master's degree in chemistry) alternate with background details that help readers understand the events that shaped him, including those surrounding his native Argentina's "dirty war." Throughout, Watson presents a balanced view of the young Jesuit priest: While the humble man is celebrated for his work with the poor and sick, there are also those who feel he did not do enough to fight the oppressors or aid others. Watson's portraits of Pope Benedict XVI and the scandals that swirled around him are not as nuanced. And some of her facts about the Catholic Church are incomplete or erroneous; she states the Sistine Chapel is the home to the pope (he lives in the Vatican Palace, not in a church) and that the cardinals are in charge of electing the new pope (they also advise the current pope). For good or for bad, Pope Francis' life and papacy cannot be separated from the tarnish on today's Catholic Church, and readers may end up with more questions than answers, though their respect for Pope Francis should grow. (Biography. 9-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781467721769
Publisher:
Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/28/2013
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.30(d)
Lexile:
900L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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