Pope Francis was selected as Time Magazine's 2013 Person of the Year, the third pontiff to win the American magazine's yearly honour since its start in 1927 (Pope John XXIII, in 1962, and Pope John Paul II, in 1994, were also named Person of the Year).
World figures such as Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr and more recently Barack Obama won the title, too.
I think Time magazine got it right. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires was largely unknown to the world before his election as Pope, but since he first appeared on the balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica on March 13, he has captivated the world. Pope Francis is a man who in the last year has been transforming the Catholic church by focusing on the inequalities brought about by poverty.
In one of his many touching quotes, he asks:
“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”
Pope Francis continues to make headlines for statements that seem more tolerant and accepting than those of his predecessors. Recently he opened the door of the Church to gays:
"If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?"
He is humble and committed to cut the frivolous spending of the Church and the Vatican Bank - rather than living in a sumptuous apartment Pope Francis resides in a modest Vatican guest house.
POPE FRANCIS THROUGH THE YEARS
WHO AM I TO JUDGE?