10 Things we Know about Pope Francis

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The man looked a little startled last night as he stepped out to greet his most devout followers in St Peter’s square, but Pope Francis seems like a normal guy.

He refused to be elevated above the cardinals when addressing the crowd, and also broke with tradition by asking the multitudes to pray for him before blessing them.

So here’s what we know about Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the man who yesterday, became Pope Francis.

1. He’s working class – one of five children and son of an immigrant railway worker and his wife.

2. He only has one lung – it had to be removed due to infection when he was just a teenager.

3. He has a masters degree in chemistry

4. He became a priest at 32 and within four years was a leader of his order

5. As the Bishop of Argentina he refused the usual trappings of the office and lived in a simple apartment, cooked his own meals and caught the bus to work every day.

6. When he was made cardinal, he told Argentinians not to travel to Rome but instead give the money to the poor

7. He has clashed with the Presidents of Argentina over both gay marriage and poverty in his country

8. In 2001 he washed and kissed the feet of AIDS patients in an Argentinian hospice.

9. He’s the first Jesuit Pope

10. He’s the first non-European Pope in 1300 years – the last one was Pope St Gregory of Syria, who ruled the Papacy 731-741 AD

He has taken the name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, who refused the wealth of his family and dedicated his life to serving the poor and sick.

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