My personal copy
Last December 11, 2013, Time magazine named Pope Francis as the 2013 Person of the Year (formerly Man of the Year). This is not the first time that a Supreme Pontiff was accorded with such honor. In 1962, Pope John XXIII was Time's Man of the Year, while Pope John Paul II was Time's Man of the Year in 1994. Interestingly, Pope Francis is scheduled to canonize his two predecessors next year.
Why Time chose Pope Francis?
According to Time, Pope Francis has quickly captured the world's attention in just nine months in office.
"And in a very short time, a vast, global, ecumenical audience has shown a hunger to follow him. For pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world's largest church to confronting its deepest needs and for balancing judgment with mercy, Pope Francis is TIME's 2013 Person of the Year."
- Nancy Gibbs, Time
Aside from being Time's Person of the Year, he is also the most well regarded religious figure in America. According to CNN Polling Director Keating Holland, the Pope's approval rating is high in America; three in four Americans view him favorably.
Last November 12, Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor reported that Pope Francis is the most talked-about person on the planet according to the 14th annual survey from the Global Language Monitor.
And the most unexpected of all, even atheists admire him for his unpretentious humility, simplicity and closeness to people from all walks of life, especially the poorest of the poor and the needy.
Personally, for me, Pope Francis has sincerely showed God's mercy and kindness to the world most particularly to those who are in most need of mercy and kindness. Instead of being a leader, he is more of a loving father not just to Catholics but to everyone regardless of who they are, and that's what makes him Person of the Year.