Time has named Pope Francis as its Man of the Year today (officially, the title is now called the "Person of the Year"), saying that the Holy Father is changing the "tone and perception of the Church." Father Frederico Lombardi, SJ, the Vatican's official spokesman, called the news “unsurprising considering the resonance and very widespread attention given to the election of Pope Francis and the beginning of his pontificate.”
“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 who speaks effectively in favor of peace and greater justice,” Father Lombardi said, saying that the Holy Father “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 nomination as 'Person of the Year' means that many have understood this message, at least implicitly, he will certainly be glad.”
The previous popes to be named as the Time Man of the Year will both officially be canonized in the spring. Blessed Pope John XXIII was Time Man of the Year in 1962, while Blessed Pope John Paul II was named Man of the Year in 1994.