Pope Francis offers a profound and compelling reflection on humanity's need for faith in his first encyclical, Lumen Fidei, which completes the work of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. Without the light of faith, he writes, "all other lights begin to dim." Speaking of those today who view faith as a kind of darkness or only to be sought when reason fails, the Holy Father says faith "sees things as Jesus himself sees them." Far from divorcing us from reality, our faith in Jesus "enables us to grasp reality's deepest meaning and to see how much God loves this world."
Pope Francis is the first Latin American to be elected to the chair of Peter. A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he was ordained as a priest in 1969. He served as head of the Society of Jesus in Argentina from 1973 to 1979. In 1998 he became archbishop of Buenos Aires, and in 2001 a cardinal. Following the resignation of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, February 28, 2013, the conclave elected Bergoglio, who chose the papal name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Residence: Vatican City, Vatican