The Archbishop of Buenos Aires, cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (76), became the first Latin American to be elected Pope on March 13 2013, taking the name Francis I.
The new Pope is the first Jesuit elected to the Holy See and also the first to choose an original name in 1100 years.
The quick election, on the second day of the conclave, had raised expectation in the predominantly Italian crowd gathered in St Peter’s Square that one of the favourites, Angelo Scola of Milan, was to be enthroned.
The son of an Italian immigrant, the new Pope studied at Theological Faculty of San Miguel and graduated with a degree in philosophy. He was created cardinal by John Paul II in 2001.
He was ordained for the Jesuits in December 1969 and has a reputation of a staunch conservative, who came second to then-cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in the previous election in 2005.
The new Pope strongly opposed the legalisation of gay marriage in his native Argentina, but is also a critic of corruption in the country’s government. He is also known for his austerity and using public transport in Buenos Aires.