Pope Francis has been named Man of the Year by Vanity Fair's Italian edition in recognition of his words and deeds during his first one hundred days as pontiff. The magazine's front cover features the 76-year-old Pope Francis waving at a crowd, dressed simply in plain white robes and a white skull cap.
The article begins by quoting Pope Francis' March 28 invocation for priests to be "shepherds living with the smell of the sheep," and goes on to feature the praise of five celebrities about him, including Sir Elton John and Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli.
Elton John warmly said, "Francis is a miracle of humility in an era of vanity," and went on to say that he hoped the Pope's message of compassion would extend to marginalized groups which "have a desperate need of his love," including gays and lesbians. Despite the Vatican's historically steadfast stance on issues like gay marriage, Sir John, who has been in a civil partnership since 2005, expressed his hope that Pope Francis could "reach out to children, women, men who live with HIV and AIDS -- often alone, and hidden away in silence."
"His first one hundred days have already placed him in the category of world leaders who make history," said Vanity Fair. "But the revolution continues."
Pope Francis has strictly dedicated himself to humility, rejecting many of the privileges and perks that come with the Roman Catholic Church's highest post.
The Argentinian pontiff is the first Jesuit pope, and his commitment to social justice is evident in the unassuming and compassionate way that he conducts his personal life, choosing to take the minibus rather the papal limousine, and living in a cheap hotel rather than the luxurious papal apartments. May the revolution continue indeed.