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Pope Francis Named Time’s Person of the Year

December 11, 2013 — Pope Francis has been named 2013’s “Person of the Year,” the iconic title given to one individual or group each year since 1927 by the editors of Time magazine. The title goes to the person who has had the greatest impact on the world and news for the past year, and previous recipients include Mahatma Gandhi, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as two popes: Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II.

“Power is not just political. It can be cultural, it can be spiritual,” said Nancy Gibbs, Time’s managing editor. According to Time, the first Jesuit pontiff “won hearts and headlines with his common touch and rejection of luxury.”

Since his election on March 13, 2013, Pope Francis’ simple style and focus on the poor have captured the world’s attention. “Pope Francis is a man with a deep connection to the poor and marginalized,” said Father Thomas H. Smolich, S.J., president of the Jesuit Conference. "He knows how to translate what is in his heart into actions — whether it’s washing the feet of Muslim prisoners on Holy Thursday to launching a global campaign to end world hunger to establishing a commission to address the clerical sexual abuse crisis.  He desires to lead a Church that unifies rather than divides, and he gives both believers and seekers a reason to be proud.

“The Society of Jesus salutes Pope Francis, our Jesuit brother, on the singular honor of being named Time magazine’s Person of the Year,” said Fr. Smolich. 

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, S.J., said in a statement that “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.”

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October 5, 2015 — Echoing Pope Francis’ call to respond to the Syrian refugee crisis, the Society of Jesus is urging elected officials to admit more Syrian refugees to Canada and the U.S.

October 2, 2015 — All 28 Jesuit institutions are listed near the top of their category among America’s “Best Colleges” in the 2016 U.S. News & World Report rankings.

September 30, 2015 — The mission of the Jesuit Refugee Service has been to "be near the least and the abandoned," as Pope Francis has urged, for the past 35 years.

September 29, 2015 — Pope Francis concluded his trip to the U.S. Sept. 27 in Philadelphia, where he attended the World Meeting of Families and made a stop at Saint Joseph’s University.

September 28, 2015 — Pope Francis has named Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno as the new director of the Vatican Observatory. Br. Consolmagno is a planetary scientist who has been an astronomer with the Vatican Observatory since 1993.

September 25, 2015 — During his visit to New York City, Pope Francis addressed the U.N. and attended a prayer service at the 9/11 Memorial.

September 24, 2015 — Pope Francis delivered a historic address before the U.S. Congress this morning, during which he addressed not just Congress, but all Americans.

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