Pope Francis: His 10 years in numbers

March 14, 2023 - 12:07 PM
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Pope Francis gives thumbs up as he arrives for the weekly general audience at the Vatican, May 18, 2022. (Reuters/Guglielmo Mangiapane/File Photo)

 Here are some statistics about Pope Francis, who on Monday marks the 10th anniversary of his election as head of the 1.38-billion-member Roman Catholic Church. The former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina became the 266th pope and the first from Latin America.

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  • SUNDAY OR HOLY DAY NOON BLESSINGS – about 570
  • WEDNESDAY GENERAL AUDIENCES – nearly 440
  • MEETINGS WITH HEADS OF STATE OR GOVERNMENT – nearly 330
  • SYNODS – He has presided at five such meetings of world bishops

Cardinals

Francis has named 111 cardinals, the red-hatted “princes of the Church” who are his closest aides at the Vatican and who lead dioceses around the world.

Currently, 123 cardinals are aged under 80 and thus eligible under Church law to enter a conclave to elect a pope after Francis dies or retires. They are known as cardinal electors and Francis has appointed 81 of them. The other electors were appointed by his predecessors.

Foreign trips

Francis has visited 60 states and territories, clocking up almost 410,000 km (255,000 miles).

He has visited Brazil, Jordan, the Palestinian Territories, Israel, South Korea, Albania, France, Turkey, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Cuba, the United States, Kenya, Uganda, Central African Republic, Mexico, Greece, Armenia, Poland, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Sweden, Egypt, Portugal, Colombia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Chile, Peru, Switzerland, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Panama, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Romania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Thailand, Japan, Iraq, Hungary, Slovakia, Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Canada, Kazakhstan, Bahrain, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

He has made 35 trips in Italy, starting with the island of Lampedusa, a landing point for migrants crossing the Mediterranean en route to Europe, in July 2013.

He has left the Vatican nearly 150 times for visits and events inside Rome, his diocese.

Saints

Francis has created about 900 new saints, including his predecessors John XXIII, John Paul II and Paul IV, as well as Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was killed in 1980.

The figure includes the Martyrs of Otranto, residents of a southern Italian city slain by Ottoman troops in 1480. The Vatican says they numbered about 800.

He has beatified 1,355 people. Beatification is the last step before sainthood.

Encyclicals

An encyclical is the most important form of papal document.

Francis has written three, starting in 2013 with “Lumen Fidei” (Light of Faith) on the importance of Christian faith, partly written by his predecessor Pope Benedict.

In 2015, he released “Laudato Si” (Praised Be), which called for urgent action on climate change, while 2020’s Fratelli Tutti (Brothers All) tackled the issue of solidarity among people in the post-pandemic world.

He also has written 11 other major documents, such as Apostolic Constitutions and Apostolic Exhortations.

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—Reporting by Alvise Armellini and Philip PullellaEditing by Frances Kerry