Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pope Francis is arguably one of the most well-known public figures in the world. The epitome of all things good and holy, how much do you actually know about the leader of the Catholic Church, aside from his hearty grins and simplistic lifestyle?
In honor of Pope Francis’s 81st birthday on Dec. 13, here are 10 surprising facts about the divine man himself.
1. Pope Francis is the first pontiff to be elected from South America
He is the first to be elected pope from outside Europe since Gregory III was elected in 731, and is also the first Jesuit to behold the title.
2. He is the first pope to go by the name Francis
The pope chose Francis to honor St. Francis of Assisi, who was “the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation.”
3. Before the papacy, the pope worked at a nightclub
He worked as a bouncer in Buenos Aires bar to earn money as a student.
4. Pope Francis speaks eight languages
He speaks Spanish, Latin and Italian fluently, and has an understanding of German, French, Portuguese, English, and Ukrainian.
5. He has a Master’s degree
He studied philosophy at the Pontifical Catholic University of Buenos Aires and also has a master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires.