Pope Francis

Intercession for the new pope

For Pope Francis, successor to Peter the apostle, that he will lead the Church with courage in times of peace and in times of turmoil, we pray to the Lord.

Prayer for the new pope

O gracious God, our shepherd and guide,

look with love on Francis your servant,

whom you have appointed as successor to Saint Peter.

Grant him courage and wisdom,

and fill him with love for your people.

May he serve with fidelity all those whom you have entrusted to his care

and bring your Church together in unity of heart and purpose

as we seek to fulfill the mission of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit

for ever and ever. Amen.

Biography of Pope Francis

Pope Francis, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., had been Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, since 1998. He was born on December 17, 1936 in Buenos Aires, to an Italian immigrant who worked on the railroads and his wife, also of Italian descent. He was ordained for the Jesuits on December 13, 1969 during his theological studies at the Theological Faculty of San Miguel.

He was novice master in San Miguel, where he also taught theology. He served as Provincial for Argentina from 1973 to 1979 and as rector of the Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel from 1980 to 1986. After completing his doctoral dissertation in Germany, he returned to his homeland to serve as a confessor and spiritual director in Córdoba.

On May 20, 1992 he was appointed titular Bishop of Auca and Auxiliary of Buenos Aires, receiving episcopal consecration on June 27. On June 3, 1997 he was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Buenos Aires and succeeded Cardinal Antonio Quarracino on February 28, 1998. He was also Ordinary for Eastern-rite faithful in Argentina, who lack an Ordinary of their own rite. Archbishop Bergoglio was named cardinal by Blessed John Paul II on February 21, 2001. He served two terms as President of the Bishops’ Conference of Argentina from November 8, 2005 until November 8, 2011.

He has served on the Congregation of Clergy, Congregation of Divine Worship and Sacraments, Congregation of Institutes of Consecrated Life, and the Congregation of Societies of Apostolic Life, as well as the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. He was Adjunct Relator General of the 10th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2001. On March 13, 2013 he was elected the 266th pope in the apostolic succession dating from the time of Saint Peter.