Finding Bergoglio in Buenos Aires

The San Jose de Flores confessional where Bergoglio decided to become a priest

Buenos Aires, Argentina — It’s three o’clock in the afternoon at the main entrance of St. Joseph* Flores Basilica, the place where Jorge Mario Bergoglio — or Padre Jorge, as he liked to be called — unveiled his desire to become a priest. With not minute’s delay, a bus tour starts the route along Bergoglio’s life here in the capital of Argentina, the “end of the world.”

Since last year, the Buenos Aires tourism agency has been offering this free three-hour circuit tracing the pope’s life every Saturday, Sunday and holidays. It is the only option on wheels and can be taken either at 9 a.m. or 3 p.m. with a reservation.

The city also offers two walking tours that are more particular — one through the neighborhood of Flores and the other through Monserrat — both of which are shorter, lasting just two hours with no reservation necessary. They are all led by specialized guides, although the bus tour offers an audio-guide system in more than 10 different languages.

*An earlier version of this story mistranslated the name of the basilica.

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A version of this story appeared in the Nov 20-Dec 3, 2015 print issue under the headline: "Finding Bergoglio in Buenos Aires" .

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