- Francis has "changed perceptions of the church," Time's international editor says
- Vatican calls honor "a positive sign" that brings attention to issues of faith
- Francis is the first non-European pope in the modern era and the first from South America
- Pope Francis is known for his simplicity and has a reputation of being a voice for the poor
Time named Pope Francis its person of the year Wednesday after nine months of a papacy that has brought accolades from reformers, raised fears among conservatives, and drawn widespread adulation from people around the world for his man-of-the-people ways.
"He took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing," Time wrote in its announcement. "The septuagenarian superstar is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century."
Following him in the top five were NSA leaker Edward Snowden, gay rights activist Edith Windsor, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
The top 10 also included Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, singer Miley Cyrus, U.S. President Barack Obama, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Kathleen Sebel