When Jorge Mario Bergoglio was Born…


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.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org


About Author

Stephen P. White is a fellow in the Catholic Studies program at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. His work focuses on the application of Catholic social teaching to a broad spectrum of contemporary political and cultural issues. Since 2005, Mr. White has been coordinator of the Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society: a three week seminar on Catholic social teaching, with an emphasis on the thought of Blessed John Paul II, which takes place every summer in Kraków, Poland. He studied politics at the University of Dallas and philosophy at the Catholic University of America. He is a graduate of the St. Patrick's Evangelisation School in London, England.

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