Did you know that before becoming a priest, Pope Francis worked as bouncer; had a girlfriend?
Have you ever wondered what Pope Francis’ life was before he became leader of the Catholic Church?
Here are some of the facts as revealed in an interview by Fr. Luciano Felloni, the parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, in Camarin, Caloocan City, Diocese of Novaliches in the Philippines.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio grew up in a working-class family, who ended up in Argentina because of poverty.
His grandmother taught him the value of simplicity and open-mindedness when it comes to dealing with people of different faith.
One time, Fr. Felloni narrated, the pope’s grandmother scolded him for saying that a classmate was a Jew. It was his grandmother who instilled in his young mind the value of treating people fairly regardless of status or belief.
In his younger years, the pope became a working student. His jobs included being a bouncer in a night club and a chemist in a factory.
Like other typical young men, he also admitted that he had a girlfriend before he pursued his calling as an instrument of God.
In an interview with ABS-CBN morning show Umagang Kay Ganda, Fr. Felloni also revealed that the former girlfriend of the pope was his neighbor.
Fr. Felloni added that while the pope was in the seminary, he had a crush on another girl.
The pope worked as a parish priest in a slum area before he became an archbishop and later, a pope.
Fr. Felloni said that all the values he learned even before entering priesthood, specifically simplicity, has carried over today, saying that the Holy Father gets rid of expensive gifts given to him.
Pope Francis was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1969, and from 1973 to 1979, he served as Argentina’s Provincial Supervisor of the Society of Jesus.
He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1988 and was made a cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II (1920-2005).
Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI (1927-2022) on February 28, 2013, a papal conclave elected him as his successor.
He chose “Francis” as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi.
Pope Francis is the first non-European and Jesuit pope.