Before he was the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis was a jack of all trades. He swept floors, worked in a chemical laboratory, and recently admitted he worked as a bouncer.
The pontiff revealed this piece of his past when speaking to a group of parishioners at the Church of San Cirillo Alessandrino outside Rome on Saturday, according to a report from the Catholic News Service citing the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.
Pope Francis spoke informally to a group of parishioners after celebrating Mass, explaining how he used to be a nightclub bouncer in Buenos Aires during college before teaching literature and psychology.
Pope Francis, also known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was born in Argentina on Dec. 17, 1936. Both his parents were Italian immigrants. He was one of five children. He graduated as a chemical technician but later decided to enter the priesthood.
His roots led him to become a simple pastor, and he traveled by bus and subway for 15 years during his episcopal ministry. Even after being ordained as pope, he has eschewed the Vatican’s lavish lifestyle, including renouncing the papal apartments in favor of a spare suite at the Vatican hotel.
Continue Reading Below
In November, Pope Francis issued his first “Apostolic Exhortation,” where he documented a future vision for the Catholic Church characterized by changing longstanding customs.
"I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security," he stated. "I do not want a Church concerned with being at the center and then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures."
He went on to cite how the current economic system is “unjust at its root.” This isn’t the first time Pope Francis included his thoughts on the world’s economy and aligned himself with global poverty, which he described as a “scandal.” Speaking to a group of students in June, he said, “In a world where there is so much wealth, so many resources to feed everyone, it is unfathomable that there are so many hungry children, that there are so many children without an education, so many poor persons.”