Vatican City, Dec 13, 2019 / 06:00 am
Fifty years ago on Dec. 13, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was ordained a Jesuit priest in Argentina. As pope, he will celebrate his ordination anniversary Friday by honoring one of his early spiritual mentors, Fr. Miguel Angel Fiorito.
Fiorito, 1916-2005, was a Jesuit Argentine priest, professor, and spiritual writer who died when Cardinal Bergoglio was Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
In a preface to a five-volume collection of his writings to be launched Dec. 13, Pope Francis wrote that Fiorito had a “passion for the spiritual exercises,” and “taught many to pray and to discern the signs of the times.”
The future Pope Francis first met Fiorito as a seminarian, and Fiorito became Bergoglio's spiritual director as he prepared for priestly ordination.
As Jesuit provincial for Argentina, Bergoglio later went on to put Fiorito in charge of the last stage of Jesuit seminary formation.
As a professor of Jesuit spirituality, Fiorito understood that “the spiritual mercy is to teach to discern,” Pope Francis wrote in the preface to his spiritual writings which he will present at the General Curia of the Society of Jesus Dec. 13.
“He had a special nose to feel a bad spirit, he knew how to expose him for his bad fruits. He was a man of combat against a single enemy: the bad spirit, satan, the devil, the tempter, the accuser, the enemy of our human nature,” he said.
Pope Francis described Fiorito in the preface as both “a man of “dialogue and listening” and “lovable father, a patient master and a firm adversary.”