Time magazine named Pope Francis its Person of the Year today (December 11, 2013), crediting him with shifting the message of the Catholic Church while capturing the imagination of millions of people who had become disillusioned with the Vatican, according to the Reuters website.
This is only the third time the magazine has chosen a pope as its Person of the Year. Time gave that honor to Pope John Paul II in 1994 and to Pope John XXIII in 1963.
The Argentine pontiff -- who, as archbishop of Buenos Aires was known as "the slum cardinal" for his visits to the poor and penchant for subway travel -- beat former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and gay rights activist Edith Windsor for the award.
"What makes this Pope so important is the speed with which he has captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church at all," Time said in its cover story.