Life does not follow the same track—something unexpected might change our destiny. Just take the twists in Jorge Bergoglio’s fate, for instance!
Before Pope Francis became what he is now, he was at some point the wide-eyed and curious Jorge Bergoglio. He worked as a bouncer, a janitor, and as a technician in a chemical laboratory in Buenos Aires. He wanted to be a chemist back then. But God had other plans for the young man. Here, we map out the five crucial decisions that Pope Francis made that led him to be the father of the Catholic Church.
From Chemist to Priest, 1953
On September 21, future chemist Jorge Bergoglio was on his way to a party when a sudden urge made him stop at the church of San Jose de Flores. This was the moment when he felt his calling to be a priest. Jorge’s visit to the Basilica of San Jose de Flores was by chance, and while there, he decided to go to confession. When he stepped out of the confessional, he knew he would be a priest for life.
From Seminarian at the Diocese to the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), 1957/58
While studying in the seminary of the diocese, Jorge was suddenly hospitalized for severe pneumonia. As he recovered, he decided to enter the Jesuit novitiate.
From a Wish for Japan to Priest in Argentina, 1967/70
While preparing to be ordained and studying theology, Jorge asked if he could be sent to Japan as a missionary. This request was rejected: his mission was to take place in Argentina.
From Germany to Argentina, 1986
In 1986, Fr. Jorge Bergoglio flew to Germany to collect useful materials for a thesis on the theologian Romano Guardini. But the thesis would not be written; instead, Fr. Jorge dealt with many new commitments.
From Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to Pope Francis, 2013
When Pope Benedict XVI announced that starting on February 28, 2013, he would step down as pope, 76-year-old Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was sent to Rome for an unexpected conclave. At the end of the conclave, white smoke drifted to the clear blue sky, signaling a new pope: Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now known as Pope Francis, the 266th successor of