Over the past five years, the world has gotten to know Jorge Mario Bergoglio as a modest man with a kind, lighthearted nature, and a humble approach to the papacy.

However, there is more to Pope Francis than meets the eye. On the fifth anniversary of his election to the papacy, here are five interesting facts about Pope Francis you probably didn’t know!

1 – He used to work as a bouncer… at a nightclub

Pope Francis says he “held a variety of odd jobs before embracing the call to the priesthood.” In addition to having worked sweeping floors and in a chemical laboratory running tests, Pope Francis used to work at a bar in Buenos Aires to pay for his studies before becoming a Jesuit. As a bouncer, he says at night he had to secure order at the venue, and during the daytime he would clean tables and the bar.

2 – He hasn’t watched TV in almost 30 years. Can you guess why?

Pope Francis says he hasn’t watched any television since July of 1990, when out of the blue he simply decided it wasn’t for him and made a promise to the Virgin Mary he has not broken since. In an interview with La Voz del Pueblo, an Argentian newspaper, he said: “I have not watched TV since 1990. It’s a promise that I made the Virgin of Carmen on the night of 15 July 1990. I told myself: ‘It’s not for me’.”

3 – He prefers humbler and simpler housing

Since Pope Pius X, all newly elected supreme pontiffs have lived in the official papal residence at the Apostolic Palace. However, Pope Francis chose to live in the much smaller and simpler Vatican guest house at the Casa Santa Marta, where he can receive visitors and hold meetings.

4 – He’s known as the “slum bishop”

As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis earned the moniker “slum bishop” because of his outreach work with the destitute, and increasing the number of priests available to the poorest areas of the city. He washed the feet of people in jails, hospitals, old age homes, and the slums on Holy Thursday – a tradition he continues as Pope.

5 – A culinary connoisseur – he likes to cook for himself 

As cardinal, he had access to a renowned private chef. However, he chose instead to cook his own meals in his downtown apartment in Buenos Aires. He says he prefers to keep his meals “frugal and healthy,” preferring simplicity with fruit, salads, and skinless chicken along with an occasional glass of wine.

Bonus Fact: The Pope’s missions around the world offer health care and education, save lives, and extend hope.

Celebrate the fifth year anniversary of his election to the papacy by supporting the Pope’s missions around the world. You can directly connect with the missions of Pope Francis through MISSIO!

Launched by Pope Francis himself, MISSIO is a new and innovative Catholic crowd-funding platform that allows you to directly provide aid and assistance to the poorest areas around the world.

With MISSIO you can directly support the works of Catholic missionaries in the poorest and most desperate areas of the world. In honor of his fifth anniversary, here are five giving opportunities on MISSIO:

  1. Help keep the youth of a poor village in Pope Francis’ home country of Argentina away from drug addiction and violence
  2. Provide medical care for needy mothers and infants in Costa Rica
  3. Build a retirement home for elderly priests in Bangalore, India
  4. Help end famine in South Sudan
  5. Send general support for the Pope’s missions around the world during this Lent.

Choose one of these missions of Pope Francis knowing that 100% of your donation will go directly to that cause. Share the mission on social media so others can support the projects also.

MISSIO is powered by The Pontifical Mission Societies, the Catholic Church’s official support organization for overseas missions since 1822, providing for a global network of people who are making a difference for communities in need around the globe.

Connect with the Pope’s missions on MISSIO today!  That’s a fact sure to please the Pope any day!

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  1. If I was pope (never’ll happen) not only would I live in the papal apartment, I’d probably want to redecorate…much like every First Lady puts their own touches to the White House.


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