Wednesday Dec 16, 1936 to Present
Argentina, ItalyPope Francis (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio 17 December 1936) is the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, the first to visit the Arabian Peninsula, and the first pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III, who reigned in the 8th century.
At the conclusion of his novitiate in the Society of Jesus, Bergoglio officially became a Jesuit on 12 March 1960, when he made the religious profession of the initial, perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience of a member of the order.
At the consistory of 21 February 2001, Archbishop Bergoglio was created a cardinal by Pope John Paul II with the title of cardinal priest of San Roberto Bellarmino, a church served by Jesuits and named for one; he was formally installed in that church the following 14 October.
In May 2013, Pope Francis met with Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria in the Vatican. The meeting coincided with the 40th anniversary of the first visit by a Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria to the Vatican; when Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria met with Pope Paul VI on 10 May 1973.
The pope has also continued the practice of having beatifications celebrated in the place of the individual's origin though has presided over beatifications himself on three occasions for Paul Yun Ji-Chung and 123 companions on 16 August 2014, his predecessor Pope Paul VI on 19 October 2014 and two Colombian martyrs on 8 September 2017.
On 12 May, Francis carried out his first canonizations of candidates approved for sainthood during the reign of Benedict XVI: the first Colombian saint, Laura of Saint Catherine of Siena, the second female Mexican saint, Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, both of the 20th century, and the 813 15th-century Martyrs of Otranto.
On the October 16, 2017 World Food Day ceremony, held at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which is headquartered in Rome, Pope Francis called for collaboration among world leaders to assure food security which requires tackling the "root of problem" of food insecurity. Pope Francis cited "studies conducted by the United Nations and many other civil society organisations" that said the "two main obstacles to overcome" are "conflicts and climate change".
At the first consistory of his papacy, held on 22 February 2014, Francis created 19 new cardinals. At the time of their elevation to that rank, 16 of these new cardinals were under eighty years of age and thus eligible to vote in a papal conclave.