Tag: Pope Francis

9 interesting things you don’t know about the Catholic leader

9 interesting things you don’t know about the Catholic leader

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Pope Francis

This was when Pope was an ordinary man. Before becoming a Pope, he was like any of us though till now. He has history and very funny one. Read and enjoy and not to be discouraged but to emulate his decision to serve God and become one of the most respected person in the world.


Did you know the Pontiff likes pop music and used to be a bouncer at a nightclub?

Pope Francis is the leader of the Roman Catholic church.

This makes him one of the world’s biggest figures, still, there is a lot most people do not know about him.

Here are nine interesting things you have never heard about Catholic leader.

Pope Francis is not his real name

Many years ago, the Pope was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Shocker, right?

He was on December 17, 1936, to parents, Mario and Regina (Sivori) Bergoglio.

Note —  this is not so strange because it is a normal tradition in the Catholic church for Popes to get a new name once they are appointed.

His current name pays homage to a Saint

Upon appointment, popes get to choose their own name. Pope Francis chose to pay homage to St. Francis of Assisi of Italy.

He is a well-known servant to the poor, who was born into a wealthy home but chose to devote himself to helping the poor in Rome.

Fun fact- This pope is the first one to choose St. Francis as his namesake.

He does not hate gay people

Four years ago, the Pontiff caused a controversy when he did not outrightly condemn homosexuality.

During an interview with reporters, he shocked people by saying, “Who am I to judge?” in reference to gay people.

He continued by saying: “If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They should not be marginalized.”

Officially, he is opposed to gay marriage and gay adoption. He was once quoted saying that same-sex marriage is “an attack on God’s plan.”

He likes pop music

Babble reports that the Catholic leader is a fan of One Direction. According to the pope, his favourite song is “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful,” adding that it is “a great pop tune with a killer hook.”

He used to be a bouncer

Once upon a time, Pope Francis worked as a nightclub bouncer. He did this to earn money as a student.

According to Express, this was before beginning his seminary studies.

After that, he was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1969, became Argentina’s provincial superior of the Society of Jesus from 1973 to 1979.

Next, he was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, then a Cardinal in 2001 before finally becoming a pope.

He is quite funny

Being a pope is a serious job, one this Catholic leader approaches with a sense of humour.

Upon becoming pope, he reportedly told other cardinals, “May God forgive you for what you have done.”

His funny side was once photographed when he was seen trying on a red nose used by clowns.

Pope Francis used to be a romantic

Telegraph reports that he once wrote a love letter to a girl in his neighbourhood when he was 12 years old.

He said, “If I don’t marry you, I’m going to be a priest.” He was quoted saying, “She was one of a group of friends I went dancing with. But then I discovered my religious vocation.”

He has only one lung

This is due to an infection that he suffered as a young man.

He has had many firsts:

First and only pope to be on the cover of “Rolling Stone”,

To make a pop-rock CD,

To be-be honoured as “Person of the Year”,

Do you know God loves you even when you forgets him?

Do you know God loves you even when you forgets him?

Pope Francis at a Wednesday general audience in Paul VI hall on Jan. 16, 2019. Credit: Daniel Ibanez.
God’s love displayed by Pope Francis

From Vatican City

God the Father will always be there for his beloved children, Pope Francis said Wednesday, with a reminder that the unconditional love of God is not limited by our own sense of guilt or unworthiness.

“God is looking for you, even if you do not seek Him. God loves you, even if you forget Him. God sees beauty in you, even if you think you have squandered all your talents in vain,” Pope Francis said in his general audience Jan. 16.

The pope reflected on the first two words of the “Our Father,” focusing on the depth of personal love for each person found within God’s fatherhood.

“It may be that we too happen to walk on paths far from God, as happened to the prodigal son; or fall into a loneliness that makes us feel abandoned in the world; or, again, do wrong and are paralyzed by a sense of guilt,” Pope Francis explained.

In those moments, one’s prayer should simply start by saying the word, “Father,” with the tenderness of a child who calls out “Papa” or “Abbà,” in the original Aramaic, Francis said.

“You have a father who loves you!” Pope Francis said enthusiastically. Call out to God as “Father,” and God will answer you, he said.

If you respond to God by saying, “But, Father, I have done this …” God will answer, “I never lost sight of you. I saw everything. But I was always there, close to you, faithful to my love for you,” Pope Francis said.

To call God “Father,” the pope explained, is to have  “the whole world of Jesus poured into one’s heart.”

Pope Francis described the intimacy of the Aramaic expression “Abbà” used twice in the letters of St. Paul. In his letter to the Galatians, St. Paul wrote, “As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!'”

Francis repeated the words that Italian children use, “Papa” and “Babbo” – which are roughly equivalent to saying “Daddy” in English – to exemplify the depth and closeness found in the word “Abba.”

“We continue to say ‘Our Father,’ but with the heart we are invited to say ‘Papa,’ to have a relationship with God like that of a child with his father, who says ‘Papa, Babbo,’” he said.

“These expressions evoke love, evoke warmth, something that projects us into the context of childhood: the image of a child completely enveloped by the embrace of a father who feels infinite tenderness for him,” he said.

Pope Francis continued, “dear brothers and sisters, to pray well, we must get to have a child’s heart … like a child in the arms of his father.”

Pope Francis doubted Mary’s apparitions at Bosnian pilgrimage site

Pope Francis doubted Mary’s apparitions at Bosnian pilgrimage site

Image result for The site at Medjugorje attracts a million pilgrims annually, but pope says ‘these supposed apparitions don’t have much value

Pope Francis on Saturday expressed serious doubts regarding reported daily apparitions of the Virgin at Medjugorje in Bosnia, a site which attracts a million pilgrims annually.

In June 1981, six Bosnian children and teenagers said they had witnessed the appearance of the Virgin in the southern town, and allege she continues to visit to this day.

The woman they saw “is not the mother of Jesus,” the Pope said Saturday aboard the papal plane on his return from a trip to Portugal, where he canonised two young shepherds who had visions of the Virgin 100 years ago.

The site at Medjugorje attracts a million pilgrims annually, but pope says ‘these supposed apparitions don’t have much value

The Pope said an investigation under way by the Church had thrown up doubts regarding the Medjugorje apparitions.

He said he preferred “’the Mother Madonna’ or ‘our Mother’, and not the ‘Madonna chief of service’, for sending daily messages.”

The remarks are likely to make waves in Bosnia, where Catholics make up about 10% of the population and the religious tourism at Medjugorje brings money into the poor Balkan country.

“These supposed apparitions don’t have much value – I’m giving my personal opinion,” the pontiff continued.

“But it is obvious, who thinks the Virgin would say: ‘come to this place tomorrow at this time and I’ll give a message to a seer’?”

However the pope was more circumspect about the original 1981 apparitions, which he did not immediately reject.

“On the original apparitions, the ones the children had, the enquiry says, more or less, that investigations need to continue,” he said.

Several investigations have already been carried out, the last in January 2014, but the pope had made no announcement since.

However, in November 2013, he did express some doubts. “The Virgin,” he said, “is not a chief of the post office who would send messages every day.”

The Vatican earlier this year sent a new envoy to “acquire a deeper knowledge of the pastoral situation” in Medjugorje, and “above all the needs of the faithful who go there on pilgrimage”.

The envoy, however, will not be tasked with verifying the authenticity of the apparitions, because that task falls to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Pope Francis Says That Helping the poor is not a papal fad, but a duty

Pope Francis Says That Helping the poor is not a papal fad, but a duty

Pope Francis

As the rich get richer, the increasing misery and cries of the poor are ignored every day, Pope Francis said.

“We Christians cannot stand with arms folded in indifference” or thrown up in the air in helpless resignation, the pope said in his homily Nov. 18, the World Day of the Poor.

“As believers, we must stretch out our hands as Jesus does with us,” freely and lovingly offering help to the poor and all those in need, the pope said at the Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. About 6,000 poor people attended the Mass as special guests; they were joined by volunteers and others who assist disadvantaged communities.

After the Mass and Angelus, the pope joined some 1,500 poor people in the Vatican’s audience hall for a multi-course lunch. Many parishes, schools and volunteer groups across Rome also offered a number of services and meals for the poor that day.

God always hears the cries of those in need, the pope said in his homily at the Mass, but what about “us? Do we have eyes to see, ears to hear, hands outstretched to offer help?”

Pope Francis urged everyone to pray for the grace to hear the cries of all the poor: “the stifled cry of the unborn, of starving children, of young people more used to the explosion of bombs than happy shouts of the playground.”

May people hear the cry of the abandoned elderly, those who lack any support, refugees and “entire peoples deprived even of the great natural resources at their disposal,” he said.

Referring to the Gospel story of the poor man begging for scraps, Pope Francis many people today are just like Lazarus and “weep while the wealthy few feast on what, in justice, belongs to all. Injustice is the perverse root of poverty.”

Every day, he said, the cry of the poor becomes louder, but it is increasingly ignored. Their cries are “drowned out by the din of the rich few, who grow ever fewer and more rich,” he said.

The pope reflected on St. Matthew’s account of what Jesus did after he fed thousands with just five loaves and two fish. The passage (Mt 14: 22-32) explains that instead of gloating or basking in the glory of successfully feeding so many people, Jesus goes up to the mountain to pray.

“He teaches us the courage to leave, to leave behind the success that swells the heart and the tranquillity that deadens the soul,” the pope said.

But then Jesus goes back down the mountain to the people who still need him, he said.

“This is the road Jesus tells us to take — to go up to God and to come down to our brothers and sisters,” to tear oneself away from a life of ease and comfort and leave behind fleeting pleasures, glories and superfluous possessions, the pope said.

Jesus sets people free from the things that do not matter so they will be able to embrace the true treasures in life: God and one’s neighbor, he added.

The other event in the passage according to St. Matthew, the pope said, is how the storm and the winds died down after Jesus got into the boat carrying his frightened disciples.

The secret to navigating life and its momentary storms, the pope said, “is to invite Jesus on board. The rudder of life must be surrendered to him” because it is he who gives life, hope, healing and freedom from fear.

The third thing Jesus does is stretch out his hand to Peter, who, in his fear and doubt, is sinking in the water.

Everyone wants true life and needs the hand of the Lord to save them from evil, the pope said.

“This is the beginning of faith — to cast off the pride that makes us feel self-sufficient and to realize that we are in need of salvation,” he said. “Faith grows in this climate” of being not on a pedestal aloof from the world but with those crying for help.

“This is why it is important for all of us to live our faith in contact with those in need,” the pope said. “This is not a sociological option or a pontifical fad. It is a theological requirement” to acknowledge one’s own spiritual poverty and that everyone, especially the poor, is pleading for salvation.

“Rouse us, Lord, from our idle calm, from the quiet lull of our safe harbors. Set us free from the moorings of self-absorption that weigh life down; free us from constantly seeking success. Teach us to know how to ‘leave’ in order to set out on the road you have shown us: to God and our neighbor,” he said.

The pope established the World Day of the Poor to encourage the whole church to reach out to those in need and let the poor know their cries have not gone unheard, the pope said in his message this year.

U.N. groups estimate there are some 700 million people in the world who are unable to meet their basic needs and that 10 percent of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty.