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The story of a vocation

· In an unpublished text by Jorge Mario Bergoglio the figure of the Salesian Enrique Pozzoli who baptized him on Christmas day ·

Pope Francis has often spoken about the importance of Baptism, and on several occasions has asked the faithful if they remember the day when they became Christians. For Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the memory of the Italian Salesian Enrique Pozzoli, who baptised him on 25 December 1936, is always vivid for it is tied to his vocation. 

On 20 October 1990, in Cordoba, the Jesuit personally wrote a detailed, six-page typewritten letter recording his memories of Pozzoli, to fulfil a promise he had made to Salesian Cayetano Bruno, a Church historian in Argentina. It was the 29th anniversary of Pozzoli's death, and that morning - after having celebrated Mass for him - Father Bergoglio sat down to write a long letter. He immediately wrote another letter to the same recipient, this time five-page typewritten, with some of his “Salesian memories”. On this the anniversary of the Pope's Baptism, we publish, almost in its entirety, the first “account” dedicated to the religious, in which “the images of the missionary, confessor, watchmaker and photographer” come together and his story becomes interwoven, on more than one occasion decisively, with that of the Bergoglio family, as well as many others. The text, which to now has been preserved in the historical archives of the Salesians in Buenos Aires, is here presented in our translation, which has sought to preserve all the particularities and rare slips contained in the original. A few select comments have been inserted in italics and between parenthesis. (g.m.v.)

The original text (PDF) 

See the first edition of 2014 for the full English translation.




St. Peter’s Square

Oct. 14, 2019