October 04, 2021 2 min read

POPE FRANCIS ranks as one of the most fascinating pontiffs of recent times.

The first non-European pope since Gregory III, who was born in modern-day Syria and elected in 731, he's seen and done more in his 80+ years than most people realize.

Here are just seven of the weirdest facts about Pope Francis that you definitely didn't know.

He lost part of his lung

At the age of 21, Pope Francis suffered from life-threatening pneumonia and developed three cysts. Part of his lung was excised to help combat the illness.

While losing the majority of one lung hasn't compromised his health or lifespan, he's not allowed to undertake any strenuous exercise.

He once worked as a nightclub bouncer

While living as a student in Buenos Aires, Pope Francis worked as a bouncer in a local bar to earn extra money.

He also worked as a chemical technologist before beginning his seminary studies.

He's a fan of the tango

As a young man, one of Pope Francis' favorite hobbies was to go dancing with friends. He had a favorite dance, too.

"I love tango and I used to dance when I was young," the Pope revealed in the biography El Jesuita.

He hasn't watched TV since 1990

Pope Francis hasn't watched television since June 15th, 1990, after making a pledge to the Virgin Mary promising that he would abstain from it. As a result, he's rarely seen San Lorenzo - the football team he's supported as a boy - play, opting to keep up with the team via newspaper reports. He's also visited the team.

He's got football team named after him

Club Deportivo Papa Francisco is a semi-professional football club based in San Francisco Solano in Buenos Aires Province and named in honour of the Pope.

Founded in September 2013, the club operates in the sixth tier of Argentine football. The club motto is "no hooligans, no violence, and no insults".

He's released an album

Pope Francis released the progressive rock album "Wake Up!" in November 2015. It is made up of various speeches by Pope Francis, recorded between 2013 and 2014.

Each is accompanied by music tracks of prayers and hymns encompassing a variety of genres.

He once had a girlfriend

Pope Francis was romantically linked to an unnamed woman in his younger years - but it didn't go anywhere.

"She was one of a group of friends I went dancing with. But then I discovered my religious vocation," the Pope revealed in El Jesuita.

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