When Pope Benedict XVI stepped down from his position of pontiff last March, it was the first time in 600 years that the leader of the Catholic Church had done so.After two days of deliberations, 115 cardinals voted for the first Latin American Pope and the first Jesuit to reach the pontiff — Pope Francis I.Read a short profile of the Pope here.
The Argentinean leader chose to bear the name of St Francis of Assisi, a simple friar, which was a sign of things to come.On the day of his election, the Pope — whose real name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio — emerged onto the balcony in his plain white cassock and wooden cross.In pictures: relive his first day as Pope here.
At 77, the Pope is in with the times and opened his own Twitter account to send messages of prayer to his 3.78million followers. The Church's 266th leader has also posed for selfies with the faithful.He is not significantly younger than his predecessor and has lived with one lung since the other was removed because of an infection in his teenage years.
But the Pope is in good shape and has youthful passions. He is a known supporter of Buenos Aires football team San Lorenzo de Almagro and is always overjoyed to be given football memorabilia.He often drives around in his Popemobile with the bulletproof glass removed, so he can reach out to the crowds. On one occasion, the Pope even invited a young boy with Downs Syndrome up into the car to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime spin.