His Holiness…and nightclub bouncer?
Pope Francis, 76, recently told parishioners that he held various odd jobs before becoming God’s enforcer, including a bouncer in a Buenos Aires bar.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, as he was known then, was a college student and in addition to his doorman duties also earned extra money by sweeping floors and running tests in a chemical lab, according to The New York Post.
The pope’s has recently made waves around the world with his commitment to helping the poor and asking other head believers to do the same. He even gave up the office’s traditional scarlet slippers and gold cross pendant, instead choosing to wear well-worn black shoes and a plain iron cross.
Francis’ humble past has given him the reputation of being an everyman pope, one who embraces and blesses the head of a horribly disfigured man and mingles with the poorest of villages he visits. However, his mildly colorful past makes his human qualities even more intriguing.
According to The Washington Times, the pope was a a literature and psychology teacher before putting on the priestly robes and also loved to tango with his girlfriend on the dance floor.
But on Sunday during his first Mass as pope in a church on the outskirts of Rome, the pope’s dancing shoes were stored away as he met with parents of newborns and urged them to be patient with their little ones. “When we baptize them, we bring home not just our child but also a seed of divinity that we have to help grow,” he said.
The pontiff also recalled many nervous moments after being elected pope on March 13, 2013, succeeding the newly retired Pope Benedict XVI.
“Was I anxious? A little, yes, but everyone was nice. But it’s true, having a lot of people in front of you is a bit scary,” he said. “[But now,] thank God, I feel really good. The Lord helped me be a priest, to be a bishop and now to be the pope.”
Luckily, the bar job didn’t stick. As New York Magazine humorously points out, Francis had to be the world’s worst bouncer:
Pope: Come in, please! All are welcome
Club Owner: Look, uh, Jorge, is it? I know it’s your first day, but you need to be a little more discerning about who you let in to the club. We’re going for an “exclusive, V.I.P.”-type vibe, and I’m seeing a lot of poorly dressed losers in here. Also a number of lepers.
Pope: Is not all of mankind deserving of respect? The street urchin and the nobleman alike are equally blessed by the Lord’s grace.
Club Owner: You’re fired.
Pope: Yup, okay.
image via: Wikimedia Commons