Latin America’s first pope, Pope Francis I, has been selected as Time Magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ for 2013. NSA Leaker Edward Snowden came in second.
This is a pope of many first: first Latin American pope, first Jesuit, and first non-European pope.
The humble servant of the people as the pope has referred himself to was selected because he is “The People’s Pope,” said Time. The 76-year-old pontiff was elevated to the papacy in March of this year. The pope leads the 1.2 billion Catholics in the world and is the 266th successor Pope from the original apostle St. Peter.
Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina he served the country as archbishop and cardinal until his elevation.
Time Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs said Pope Francis had changed the tone and perception of one of the world’s oldest and most influential institutions in a very short time. He was viewed as the individual who had the greatest impact on the world for good during this past year. Time noted the pope’s humble manner and attention to the poor, performing his own acts of kindness and refusing to live in the opulent Vatican.
The Pope was one of ten finalists that included Barack Obama, Republican Senator Ted Cruz, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Iran President Hassan Rouhani, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and gay rights activist Edith Windsor.