Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere , the first to visit the Arabian Peninsula , and the first pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III , who reigned in the 8th century. Born in Buenos Aires , Argentina, Bergoglio was ordained a Catholic priest in , and from to was Argentina's provincial superior of the Society of Jesus Jesuits. He led the Argentine Church during the December riots in Argentina. He chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Throughout his public life, Pope Francis has been noted for his humility, emphasis on God's mercy, international visibility as Pope, concern for the poor and commitment to interfaith dialogue. He is credited with having a less formal approach to the papacy than his predecessors, for instance choosing to reside in the Domus Sanctae Marthae guesthouse rather than in the papal apartments of the Apostolic Palace used by previous popes.