Everybody loves Francis.
That’s the early word on Pope Francis, the 76-year-old Jesuit who on Wednesday was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year (also known as the annual “Someone Please Read Us” awards).
He earned the honor because he “captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church at all,” wrote Howard Chua-Eoan and Elizabeth Dias in a feature article accompanying the announcement.
Part of that was his connection to ordinary people, something that shines through in his interactions with others, but is also reflected in his resume.
“John Paul II and Benedict XVI were professors of theology,” the authors wrote. “Francis is a former janitor, nightclub bouncer, chemical technician and literature teacher.”
While the Time award may be in part a marketing ploy decided by a group of magazine editors, so far, Pope Francis is enormously popular with the faithful.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 92 percent of Catholics express a favorable opinion of the pontiff. That’s a 16 percent increase from how his predecessor scored a year earlier.