“He took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing,” the weekly mag said. ”The septuagenarian superstar is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century.”
The iconic title is chosen each year by Time editors as someone who has impacted the world – for the good or the bad. While editors ultimately decide who should hold the POTY honor, they also take into account public opinion by polling their readers. This was the third time in history a pope was voted Person of the Year.
Other household names made the short list this year: President Barack Obama (last year’s 2012 Person of the Year), whistleblower and current fugitive Edward Snowden, gay rights activist Edith Windsor,Syrian President Bashar Assad, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
“The Holy Father is not looking to become famous or to receive honors. But if the choice of Person of Year helps spread the message of the gospel — a message of God’s love for everyone — he will certainly be happy about that.” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement issued to TODAY.