Pope Francis’s Three Anniversaries

Source: FSSPX News

Jorge Mario Bergoglio as a child.

Every December, the pope celebrates three anniversaries: his birth, his baptism, and his priestly ordination. Intimately connected to these events is the figure of the priest who marked Francis’s life: Fr. Enrique Pozzoli.


An Italian Salesian, a friend and spiritual father to the Bergoglio family, Fr. Enrique Pozzoli baptized Jorge Mario on December 25, 1936, in Buenos Aires. It was through this same priest that the parents of the future pope met.

He it was who, according to the archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1990, had a “decisive” impact on young Jorge Mario’s priestly vocation in 1955, successfully overcoming his parents’ reluctance.

Fr. Enrique continued to watch over Jorge who after entering the seminary in 1956 came down with a serious case of pneumonia in August of 1957. After his operation, the Salesian visited him in the hospital, and remained close to him until his priestly ordination on December 13, 1969.

Pope Francis expressed his gratitude in these simple words: “I remember him (Fr. Pozzoli) every day in the Divine Office when I pray for the dead.”

These anniversaries are also a reminder that the current pope is the fruit of the 50’s generation – with its theological tingling of which the New Theology is an illustration – and of the years of Vatican Council II that adopted doctrinal novelties in the name of its so-called “pastoral” nature. Ordained at the same time as the promulgation of the New Mass, the future Pope Francis lived through the conciliar reforms and made them his own.