Published On: Mar 14 2013 12:40:01 PM CDTUpdated On: Dec 17 2015 10:41:06 AM CST
With Pope Francis in Cuba to meet the head of the Russian Orthodox Church on Friday. Learn more about the leader of the Catholic Church with 11 interesting facts.
1. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was selected as the 266th pope by 115 cardinals.
2. Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pontiff chosen to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.
3. He is the first pope from Argentina, the Americas and the Southern Hemisphere.
4. The new pontiff was born in Buenos Aires in 1936. The son of immigrants, he is of Italian descent. He's seen here as a student (fourth from left, middle row).
5. After years of teaching at Catholic school and seminaries and spending time counseling priests, Bergoglio became the new archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was made cardinal in 2001.
6. The new pope broke historic ground by choosing the name Francis, as this is the first time the name is being used by a pope, said CNN Vatican expert John Allen. Pope Francis chose his name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi because he is a lover of the poor.
7. Pope Francis is known for his humble lifestyle. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, he took public transportation and cooked his own meals at home.
8. In the 2005 papal election, he was the runner-up, receiving 40 votes on the third ballot and losing to now-Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
9. Pope Francis only has one lung, causing him to often speak softly. He had an infection when he was young and one lung was removed.
10. Pope Francis is said to be a huge soccer fan, particularly of the San Lorenzo soccer club, one of Argentina's top clubs.
11. A complaint was filed against Pope Francis in 2005 alleging his complicity in the 1976 kidnapping of two liberal Jesuit priests. Francis denied the charge.
Now that you've learned more about Pope Francis, click here for a slideshow look at the ways he has established himself as the "cool pope."