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Here’s how the Pope prayed before his ordination

Jorge Bergoglio

AP Photo/El Salvador School/East News

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 12/13/23

I believe I want to love much. ... I believe in God’s patience, which is welcoming and good like a summer night.
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December 13 is the anniversary of Pope Francis’ priestly ordination. On December 13, 1969, just four days before his 33rd birthday, he was ordained a priest.

Here is the prayer-dialogue written by Jorge Mario Bergoglio shortly before being ordained to the priesthood (as reported by the Italian Catholic publication Avvenire).

In this short list of “beliefs,” we see the future Pope grappling with the experience of his own weakness, but also the goodness of God, and the accompanying love of Mary — themes that, although deepened and transformed, continue to accompany him today.

Here is an Aleteia translation of the prayer (from Italian; the original is presumably Spanish).


I want to believe in God the Father, who loves me as a son, and in Jesus, the Lord, who has poured out his Spirit in my life to make me smile and to bring me thus to the kingdom of eternal life.

I believe in my life story, which has been penetrated by God’s loving gaze and, on the spring day of September 21, led me to the encounter to invite me to follow him.

I believe in my suffering, sterile due to egoism in which I take refuge.

I believe in the miserliness of my soul, which seeks to consume without giving … without giving.

I believe that other people are good, and that I should love them without fear, and without ever betraying them to seek security for myself.

I believe in religious life.

I believe I want to love much.

I believe in the daily death, which burns, from which I flee, but which smiles at me inviting me to accept it.

I believe in God’s patience, which is welcoming and good like a summer night.

I believe that Dad is in heaven with the Lord (he had died 10 years before, Ed.)

I believe that Fr. Duarte (the priest who heard his confession on that September 21, Ed.) is also there, interceding for my priesthood.

I believe in Mary, my mother, who loves me and will never abandon me. And I wait for the surprise of each day in which love, strength, betrayal, and sin will be manifested, which will accompany me until the definitive encounter with that marvelous face, which I don’t know what it is like, from which I constantly flee, but that I wish to know and love. Amen.

Pope Francis
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