Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires on December 17, 1936. (BTW: Happy birthday, Holy Father!) He was born on Thursday of the third week of Advent which, in the southern hemisphere, is a summer birthday: average hi-temps in Buenos Aires in December are over 80 degrees. (The internet informs me that it’s currently 99 degrees in Argentina’s capital.)
Needless to say, the world was a very different place in December 1936: Nazi Germany was still relishing its performance at that summer’s Olympics in Berlin (appeasement at Munich was almost two years away); Stalin’s USSR was adopting a new constitution; King Edward VIII had just abdicated after less than a year on the British throne.
Another neat, if useless, fact: In December 1936, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, fresh off his first re-election that November, was just returning to the US from South America, where he had undertaken a good-will tour aboard the USS Indianapolis. The President’s trip included an official visit to Buenos Aires. Below is a photo of downtown Buenos Aires taken from the deck of the Indianapolis.
Think about it: Somewhere out in that sweltering city, Mrs. Bergoglio is waiting to welcome her first child.
Just in time for Christmas, too.