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Pope-mania has hit the United States of America. There are emoji’s , t-shirts and memes floating the internet.This is all proof that something different is happening with this pontiff.  Pope Francis is different from others who ascended to Papal authority. This morning people had the chance to witness how original he is.

Here are a few things that make him different.

1- He is educated. He graduated with a chemical technician’s diploma. This means he has a fond affection for science. This shows up in his drive to save the environment. He truly understands what is at stake.

2-The pope understands love of the opposite sex. He fell in love with a girl from his neighborhood. He reportedly told her, “If I don’t marry you, I’m going to be a priest.” The pope admitted in a book, published last year abiut his life that he had been “dazzled” by a young woman while studying to be a priest and calls celibacy “a matter of discipline, not faith,” saying “it can change.” In an interview last year that the Catholic Church’s rule that priests be celibate “can change” and admitted he was tempted by a woman as a young seminarian.

He said in the interview with Aletia news:

‘I was dazzled by a girl I met at an uncle’s wedding,I was surprised by her beauty, her intellectual brilliance … and, well, I was bowled over for quite a while. I kept thinking and thinking about her. When I returned to the seminary after the wedding, I could not pray for over a week because when I tried to do so, the girl appeared in my head. I had to rethink what I was doing.’

He said he had to choose between the girl and the priesthood, and though he picked the latter, he knows not everyone would.

“When something like this happens to a seminarian, I help him go in peace to be a good Christian and not a bad priest,” Bergoglio said

3- He understands living with a permanent illness and a constant ailment. The Pontiff has only one functioning lung. He had a part of his right lung removed in his youth due to an infection. He had numerous cysts after a serious fight with pneumonia. You will also notice he has a slow walk. He has foot issues that demand that he wear orthodontic shoes.

4.- He understands what a  struggle it is to put yourself through college and pay bills by hustling to get money. Pope Francis worked as a bouncer in a Buenos Aries bar to help pay for his studies. He has also swept floors and run tests in a chemical laboratory. As leader of the Jesuit community in Argentina, he woke at 5:30 a.m. to do the priests’ laundry.

These factors give him an understanding of the human condition unlike any of his predecessors. He is a man of the people because he comes from and has lived like the people. As Pope he serves as the good shepherd. A shepherd tends his sheep and never angers. A good shepherd can be found in the field with his sheep, not in a palace watching the field from afar. That is Pope Francis. This is why he chooses to go to an eyeglasses store, just like us. That is why he makes his own bed and eats in the Vatican cafeteria with the workers.

All these things make him an interesting man inside and outside the church.

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The 4 Things That Make Pope Francis Different  was originally published on