RELIGION

Pope Francis' Most Iconic Photos Of 2014

2014 was a busy year for Pope Francis. In between general audiences and church events, Pope Francis stepped into his role as global peace-maker and made a major impact in several key regions around the globe.

With the release of American Alan Gross' from Cuba spread, Pope Francis' role in facilitating a deal between the two countries became apparent as a key element to the story. In May the pontiff traveled to the Middle East to visit some of the holiest sites in Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths -- a trip that many saw as a hopeful reset in Christian-Muslim relations. And in November, Pope Francis prayed alongside the Grand Mufti of Istanbul, Rahmi Yaran, during his trip to Turkey and later, in a crucial moment of conciliation with the Orthodox Church, the pope bowed to and asked for a blessing from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.

Take a look at some of Pope Francis' most iconic photos from 2014:

  • Pope Francis (L) prays as a Jewish Rabbi looks on at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, in Jerusalem's Old City on May
    Vincenzo Pinto / AFP / Getty Images
    Pope Francis (L) prays as a Jewish Rabbi looks on at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, in Jerusalem's Old City on May 26, 2014.
  • Pope Francis attends his weekly audience at St. Peter's Square on May 7, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican.
    Franco Origlia / Getty Images
    Pope Francis attends his weekly audience at St. Peter's Square on May 7, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican.
  • Pope Francis arrives to lead a mass at the parish of Santa Maria dell'Orazione in Guidonia Montecelio near Rome on March 16,
    Alberto Pizzoli / AFP / Getty Images
    Pope Francis arrives to lead a mass at the parish of Santa Maria dell'Orazione in Guidonia Montecelio near Rome on March 16, 2014.
  • In this picture provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis arrives for a meeting with Roman priests
    AP
    In this picture provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis arrives for a meeting with Roman priests at the Vatican, Thursday, March 6, 2014.
  • Pope emeritus Benedict XVI (L) is welcomed by Pope Francis as he arrives to attend a papal mass for elderly people at St Pete
    Tiziana Fabi / AFP/ Getty Images
    Pope emeritus Benedict XVI (L) is welcomed by Pope Francis as he arrives to attend a papal mass for elderly people at St Peter's square on September 28, 2014 at the Vatican.
  • A balloon flies past Pope Francis during his general audience in St Peter's Square at the Vatican on May 14, 2014.
    Tiziana Fabi / AFP / Getty Images
    A balloon flies past Pope Francis during his general audience in St Peter's Square at the Vatican on May 14, 2014.
  • Pope Francis embraces a pilgrim at St. Peter's square at the Vatican at the end of his weekly general audience on April 2, 20
    Gabriel Bouys / AFP / Getty Images
    Pope Francis embraces a pilgrim at St. Peter's square at the Vatican at the end of his weekly general audience on April 2, 2014.
  • In this Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014 file photo provided by Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholom
    AP
    In this Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014 file photo provided by Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, right, kisses Pope Francis' head during an ecumenical prayer at the Patriarchal Church of St. George in Istanbul.
  • Pope Francis arrives to deliver a speech at the European Parliament, on November 25, 2014, during a short visit at the Europe
    Patrick Hertzog / AFP / Getty Images
    Pope Francis arrives to deliver a speech at the European Parliament, on November 25, 2014, during a short visit at the European Parliament and the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, eastern France.
  • Pope Francis attends the Opening Mass of the Synod of Bishops in St. Peter's Basilica on October 5, 2014 in Vatican City, Vat
    Franco Origlia / Getty Images
    Pope Francis attends the Opening Mass of the Synod of Bishops in St. Peter's Basilica on October 5, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican.
  • Pope Francis (R) speaks with US President Barack Obama during a private audience on March 27, 2014 at the Vatican.
    Gabriel Bouys / AFP / Getty Images
    Pope Francis (R) speaks with US President Barack Obama during a private audience on March 27, 2014 at the Vatican.
  • Pope Francis exchanges his skull-cap with a faithful as he arrives for an audience with members of Pauline Family in the Paul
    Alessandra Tarantino / AP
    Pope Francis exchanges his skull-cap with a faithful as he arrives for an audience with members of Pauline Family in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014.
  • Pope Francis prays at Israel's separation barrier on May 25, 2014 after he made an unscheduled stop at the security wall draw
    Taufiq Khalil / AFP / Getty Images
    Pope Francis prays at Israel's separation barrier on May 25, 2014 after he made an unscheduled stop at the security wall drawing attention to the towering eight-metre (26-foot) high concrete wall topped by a guard tower, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem.
  • In this handout image provided by the Committee for the 2014 Papal Visit to Korea, The faithful greet Pope Francis upon his a
    Getty Images
    In this handout image provided by the Committee for the 2014 Papal Visit to Korea, The faithful greet Pope Francis upon his arrival for the 6th Asian Youth Day on August 17, 2014 in Haemi, South Korea.
  • Photoreporters take photos of Pope Francis as he arrives for his weekly general audience in St Peter's square at the Vatican
    Andreas Solaro / AFP / Getty Images
    Photoreporters take photos of Pope Francis as he arrives for his weekly general audience in St Peter's square at the Vatican on September 17, 2014.
  • The biretta cup of Pope Francis is blown over his head by a gust of wind as he holds his weekly audience in St. Peter's Squar
    Franco Origlia / Getty Images
    The biretta cup of Pope Francis is blown over his head by a gust of wind as he holds his weekly audience in St. Peter's Square flanked by Prefect of the Pontifical House and former personal secretary of Pope Benedict XVI, Georg Ganswein (L) on October 15, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican.
  • VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - DECEMBER 17: Pope Francis blows out the candles on his birthday cake during his general audience at S
    Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - DECEMBER 17: Pope Francis blows out the candles on his birthday cake during his general audience at St Peter's square on December 17, 2014 at the Vatican City, Vatican. (Photo by Evren Atalay/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • Pope Francis is pictured as he leaves after his general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican on August 20, 2014.
    Gabriel Bouys / AFP / Getty Images
    Pope Francis is pictured as he leaves after his general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican on August 20, 2014.
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