Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pope Francis is TIME's 2013 Person of the Year



For several decades now, TIME, one of the world's most prestigious magazines, is annually honoring individuals from diverse cultural background, group or even idea and object, that has done the most to enormously influence the world in a year.

It has some shares of controversies though.

In 1982 the public, and even the whole world, expected STEVE JOBS of Apple to be named Person of the Year due to his revolutionary innovation on personal computing but the magazine named "COMPUTER" as the winner instead, and in 1936 when a commoner woman, Wallis Simpson, whom the British royal family extremely detested, won the accolade.

Simpson, who was never fully accepted by the royal family during her lifetime and was never granted an official style of Her Royal Highness (eventhough she legally married the Duke of Windsor), stirred the mystical world of British monarchy and created an almost constitutional crisis when she formed a romantic relationship with King Edward VIII (paternal uncle of Queen Elizabeth II, who later abdicated and deserted the Kingdom to marry Wallis. He was created Duke of Windsor by his brother and successor, King George VI). Simpson was everything the royal family despised, she was a commoner with no aristocratic background and twice divorce with one living husband, divorce people during those times were not allowed in the presence of royalty and commoners were never considered suitable to marry royals.

More decades later, TIME magazine's choice of Person of the Year, often met with mixed reactions from the public, but whatever misgivings people sometimes thought of the winner, still Person of the Year is the most anticipated feature of TIME and the most awe-inspiring issue of a magazine at the end of the year.

This year (2013), with most nominees coming from politics, TIME chose a man from the religious sector, POPE FRANCIS, the current head of the Catholic Church. As a devoted Catholic, I am very happy with the news, the pope is such a great inspiration.

According to TIME's managing editor, Nancy Gibbs, on why the Pope bested other finalists (NSA Whistleblower, Edward Snowden, gay rights activist, Edith Windsor, US Senator, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Syrian President, Bashar Al-Assad) to take the honor as Person of the Year for 2013, " He really stood out to us as someone who has changed the tone and the perception and the focus of one of the world's largest institutions in an extraordinary way"

Pope Francis is the third Roman Pontiff to be named by TIME as Person of the Year. Pope John XXIII (Italy) won the accolade in 1962 followed by Pope John Paul II (Poland) in 1994.

An Argentinian with Italian heritage, Francis is the first non-European in over 1,000 years and the first Jesuit, to be elected as Pope. Upon taking office in March 2013 he assumes the following titles: Successor to the throne of St. Peter, Primate of the West, Bishop of Rome, Supreme Head of the Universal Church, Vicar of Jesus Christ, and Sovereign Head of the State of Vatican.

Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on December 17, 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pope Francis has been known with his deep humility, simplicity and divine commitment to maintain a "poor church". According to his official biography published in the Vatican's website, the 76-year-old Pontiff "often traveled by bus on a subway and cooked his own supper,  and when he speaks for social justice, he calls people to pick up the catechism".

" If you follow Christ, you understand that “trampling upon 
a person’s dignity is a serious sin”
-- Pope Francis 

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