The quotable Pope: 11 most surprising sayings
December 11th, 2013
08:15 AM ET

Pope Francis' greatest hits of 2013

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - First he won the Internet. Then he won Facebook. Now, Pope Francis has won Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2013.

"He took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing," Time said in announcing the award on Wednesday. "The septuagenarian superstar is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century."

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said Time's announcement came as no surprise.

"It is a positive sign that one of the most prestigious acknowledgements in the field of the international press has been attributed to one who proclaims spiritual, religious and moral values in the world, and who speaks effectively in favor of peace and greater justice," Lombardi said.

"With regard to the Pope, for his part, he does not seek fame and success, since he carries out his service for the proclamation of the Gospel and the love of God for all. If this attracts men and women and gives them hope, the Pope is content. If this nomination as 'Person of the Year' means that many have understood this message, at least implicitly, he will certainly be glad," Lombardi continued.

In honor of Time's award, here are the year's top stories about Pope Francis:

Pope Francis won the Internet. Literally.

Even atheists love this Pope

Pope Francis' embrace of a severely disfigured man touches world

Why the Pope's embrace of the disfigured man is so powerful

Pope: I was once a bar bouncer

Pope Francis: No more business as usual

The Pope’s bold new vision

Pope Francis: Church can't 'interfere' with gays

Pope Francis on gays: 'Who am I to judge?'

The pope said what? Six stunners from Francis

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Francis

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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.