Whether you are or not a religious person you may be interested by the story of the first Pope from the American Continent. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was born Dec 17, 1936, "in the end of the world" Buenos Aires, Argentina, one of five children born to an Italian railway worker and his wife. His father, Mario Jorge, emigrated to Argentina from the Piedmont region of Italy as many others millions did.
The family used to live in the middle class neighborhood of Flores. There is the church where Bergoglio discovered not only his vocation but also his mission.
He decided to be a man of god. Not a single one, but a Jesuit.
The choice of his name is in itself meaningful: Francis refers to the saint who, in very opulent times for the Church, seven centuries ago, undertook the most formidable renewal, clad in his rags. Though it is not meant as a comparison, it is a signal that will have to be reassessed.
The Argentine pontiff - who, as archbishop of Buenos Aires was known as the slum cardinal for his visits to the poor and penchant for subway travel has arrived to revolutionize the Church.
“What makes this Pope so important is the speed with which he has captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church at all,” Time writes in its cover story.
“In a matter of months, Francis has elevated the healing mission of the church - the church as servant and comforter of hurting people in an often harsh world - above the doctrinal police work so important to his recent predecessors.” said Time magazine after the election of the Pope as person of the year.
Pope Francis, the first non-European pope in 1,300 years, the first from Latin America and the first Jesuit, is surely not seeking fame but a change not only for Christians but humankind.
Many evidence of this will of change can be found in the short but intense time of Bergoglio as Francis.
In September, Francis gave a groundbreaking and frank interview, in which he said the Vatican must shake off an obsession with teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuality, and become more merciful.
And in July, Francis told reporters he was not in a position to judge homosexuals who are of good will and in search of God, marking a break from his predecessor, Benedict, who said homosexuality was an intrinsic disorder.
The new pope's style is characterized by frugality. He shunned the spacious papal apartment in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace to live in a small suite in a Vatican guest house, and he prefers a Ford Focus to the traditional pope's Mercedes.
A champion of the downtrodden, he visited the island of Lampedusa in southern Italy in July to pay tribute to hundreds of migrants who had died crossing the sea from North Africa and are ignored by the rich and developed world.
With the Catholic Church marred in recent years by sex abuse scandals, Francis formed a team of experts Thursday to consider ways to improve the screening of priests, to protect minors to help victims.Francis represents a wind of change. The young and the poor are the first in line of his message and he surely will try to make us live in a more fair and tolerant world where human being is the key and center.