Jorge Mario Bergogio, later Pope Francis, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
He was named Person of the Year by Time Magazine in December 2013 after serving 15 years as archbishop of Buenos Aires.
Pope Francis turned 77 and started his day by inviting four homeless people to share in his morning mass at the Vatican.
On December 16 his beloved football team, Argentine soccer club San Lorenzo, won its first title since 2007. Members of the team will arrive in Rome on his birthday to deliver the trophy to the Pope, their biggest fan, who has been a card-carrying member of the club since 2008. When the pope heard the good news, he exclaimed, “What joy!”
“The fact that we could win the title and present it to the pope on his birthday seems like a gift from God,” Marcelo Tinelli, the club’s vice-president. Reportedly, the soccer-loving Pope asked Tinelli to win the championship when they met a few months ago, after he was elected.
In other birthday news, Pope Francis unexpectedly announced the canonization of Jesuit priest Pierre Favre, also known as Peter Favre. Though there is an established Vatican protocol for announcing new saints, Pope Francis elevated Favre through “equivalent canonization,” which is usually done for widely recognized church figures who have perhaps partially gone through the sainthood process.