Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in December 1936, is the current head of the Catholic Church. He was born in Buenos Aires, the oldest of five children. He is also the first Pope that was raised outside Europe since the 8th century. As well as the first pope to be a member of the Society of Jesus. In his youth he worked as both a bouncer and a janitor, before training to become a chemist. After suffering from a severe case of pneumonia in 1958, he was inspired to join the Jesuits. In 1969 he was officially ordained a Catholic priest. In 1998 he became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and in 2001 Pope John Paul II made him a cardinal. In 2013 he was elected Pope, choosing the name Francis after Saint Francis of Assisi. Pope Francis has been largely less formal than previous Popes. He has stated that the Catholic Church needs to be more tolerant of the LGTBQ community, and has made women full members of dicasteries in the Roman Curia. He also has advocated for climate change action, and in 2022 he apologized for the Church's role in the "cultural genocide" of the Canadian indigenous peoples. So, where exactly does the Pope live?
Credit: Catholic Church
For ten months out of the year, the Pope traditionally lives in the Papal Apartments. The apartments are private and wrap around a courtyard of the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City. The other two months out of the year the Pope lives in the Palace. The Papal Apartments have been the official residence for every Pope since the 17th century. Before 1970 the official residence of the Pope was the Quirinal Palace, which now belongs to the Italian President. The apartment has ten rooms, including a vestibule. There is also a studio office, a private study, a medical wing, as well as a roof garden. The study has a window, which is where the Pope can be seen greeting and blessing the people on Sundays. The Pope's bedroom is located in the corner of the building. The Papal Apartments also have a large library, with two large windows that overlook Saint Peter's Square. In 1903 Pope Pius X refused to live in the Papal apartments. A trend that the current Pope, Pope Francis also has done. Instead of the long tradition, Pope Francis chose to live in the Domus Sanctae Marthae after his election. Why would Pope Francis choose this home instead of the Papal Apartments? Let's take a look at both locations and decide for ourselves.
The Pope House Details:
Square Footage: 1,500 + sq ft
Where Does The Pope Live?
The Pope Address: Vatican City
A Sight To See
Credit: Google Earth
In this video you can go inside the Papal Apartments, and see what it must feel like to live there. From the religious and historic artwork, marble floors, the private chapel, and study.
The Domus Sanctae Marthae sits next to St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Construction was completed in 1996 and was named after Martha of Bethany. Martha was a figure in the bible, and sister to Lazarus and Mary of Bethany. Since 2013 Pope Francis has chosen this location to call home. The building consists of five stories with 106 suites, 22 single rooms, and one apartment. The land that the Domus stands on once belonged to the St. Martha Hospice, that Pope Leo XIII had built in 1891.
Credit: Google Earth
In this video you can get an actual tour from Pope Francis himself, of his official residence. He prefers the smaller apartments over the Papal Apartments, breaking a long standing tradition. Although smaller, the interior is still grand. With a personal study, a library, and a window to wave at all of the people who gather.
Whether a long standing tradition, or a building rich in biblical history, the Pope has many options of residence. If you enjoyed taking a look at where the Pope lives, take a look at where Prince Harry lives here.
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