When he greeted the world on March 13, the new pope also became the first Jesuit pontiff in history.
In his first address to the media, Pope Francis explained why he chose the name: “For me, he is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation.”
Thousands of people gathered in the city’s main square to watch their native son’s first mass, scheduled to begin at 5:30 a.m. in Buenos Aires. Two hours before the mass started, a call from Pope Francis was patched through to the speakers set up around the square. The pope blessed the cheering crowds and asked, “Don’t forget this bishop, who though far away, cares so much for you.”
The new pope took the shuttle bus with the other bishops after he was named the new leader of the Catholic Church and went to the hotel where he had been staying during the conclave the day after he was elected to pay his bill. A Vatican spokesman said the pope returned to the hotel to collect his suitcase and paid his bill “as a good example” to the other bishops.
Unlike his predecessor (below), Pope Francis (above) decided to dress simply as the leader of the Catholic Church, rejecting the traditional red shoes and choosing to live in the Vatican guest house, not the papal apartments. He also chose to travel in a used car as opposed to the traditional papal Mercedes.
Pope Francis caused a controversy by washing and kissing the feet of two women and two Muslim prisoners during the traditional Holy Thursday ceremony at the Casal del Marmo youth prison. The Vatican defended the action, saying that the prison housed men and women and excluding female prisoners would have been strange: “Washing feet was important to present the Lord’s spirit of service and love.”
Pope Francis has been a fan of Argentinian soccer club San Lorenzo de Almagro for years and even has an official club membership ID. After winning the Argentine national championship on Sunday, the team dedicated its win to the pope.
Pope Francis surprised the world — and particularly the media — by reaching out to engage atheists in a dialogue, criticizing the church’s past focus on divisive social issues, and urged Catholics not to judge gay men and women.
The pope donned a red nose to celebrate with a newlywed couple, who met through volunteering at a charity that brings clown therapy to sick children, at the Vatican.
Pope Francis allowed a little boy who ran up onto the stage during his homily to stay with him, even sitting the child on his chair.
The newly elected Pope Francis met with the pope emeritus 10 days after he was named the leader of the church, in the first meeting between a pope and a former pope in recorded history.
Young men and women from all over the world camped out on Copacabana beach to celebrate the Eucharist with the pope.
Easily the coolest selfie of 2013.
After celebrating mass with a working-class church on the edge of Rome, the pope chatted with parishioners and said that his work removing troublemakers from Buenos Aires clubs as a bouncer helped teach him how to bring people back into the church when he became a priest.
Pope Francis enjoyed talking to members of his flock who wrote to him in 2013. Among the many people he called were a pregnant Italian woman whose boyfriend pressured her to have an abortion, a rape victim, and his newspaper deliveryman in Argentina.
The pope’s informal, accessible style has encouraged many lapsed Catholics around the world to start going to Mass again.