5 things you may not know about Pope Francis

Pope Francis waves from his pope-mobile at the end of his weekly general audience, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. (Andrew Medichini)
March 13, 2014 6:19:35 PM PDT
Pope Francis is celebrating his one-year anniversary on the job, but we're already so used to seeing him in white that it's hard to remember he led a long and colorful life before the Vatican. Here are five things about the pope that you may not know — you can thank us when you're the most knowledgeable person at cocktail party.

1. He loves to tango — and used to dance the night away in his home country of Argentina when he was young.

2. He's had a girlfriend. She was one of the girls he went dancing with, before he discovered his religious vocation. Can you imagine that woman, now older, telling her grandkids that she used to date the pope?

3. He's also a scientist and teacher. In addition to studying philosophy and earning a Master's degree in chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires, he taught literature, psychology, philosophy and theology before becoming Archbishop.

4. He loves football (that's soccer to American folks like us). His favorite team is the San Lorenzo football club. Hopefully they haven't let this fandom go to their head: will it be easier for them to play like God is on their side?

5. He's just not into glamour. Okay, you probably do know this one, because it's been one of the hallmarks of his young papacy. Instead of using the limousines, fancy apartment and personal chef that come with the job, he regularly takes buses and taxis, cooks all his own meals, and lives in a modest apartment in a neighborhood he likes. He even traveled to the conclave in Rome on an economy flight.

We've come to expect the unexpected from this pope — which is good news for Catholics, who have benefited from having a relatable leader. As his second year begins, all eyes will be on Francis to see what he gets up to next.


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