21 Images That Defined Pope Francis’ First Year

The popular pontiff celebrates his first anniversary as head of the Holy See. Here are some of the moments from the past year that caught the world’s attention.

1. When he greeted the world with a smile and a wave after being named the first Jesuit pope in history…

AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File

2. And then went to the hotel where he’d been staying during the conclave to pay his bill before moving into the Vatican.

AP Photo/L’Osservatore Romano, File

3. When he met with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI after his election.

AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, File

4. When Pope Francis called the pope emeritus “brother” and the two leaders prayed together.

Osservatore Romano / Reuters

5. When he cast off the elaborate trimmings of the office of the papacy in favor of simpler dress.

AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

6. Each and every time he refused to be treated as though he were different from other priests.

Osservatore Romano / Reuters

7. When he broke with tradition and washed the feet of two young women and two Muslims on Holy Thursday.

Osservatore Romano / Reuters

8. Whenever he made friends with animals…

OSSERVATORE ROMANO/AFP / Getty Images

9. Following in the footsteps of his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi.

AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, ho

10. When 3 million people showed up to hear Pope Francis say mass in Rio de Janeiro at the end of World Youth Day celebrations.

Stefano Rellandini / Reuters

11. And when he solidified his youth appeal by taking this amazing selfie.

AP Photo/L’Osservatore Romano, ho, file/Riccardo Aguiari

12. When he refused to send away a child who ran onto the stage at the Vatican to be near him…

AP Photo/L’Osservatore Romano

13. And every other time he displayed his happy, easy rapport with the younger members of the Catholic Church.

AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

14. When he advocated peace to powerful world leaders like Vladimir Putin.

AP Photo/L’Osservatore Romano, ho

15. When he wasn’t afraid to get a little silly…

RealyEasyStar/ Fotografia Felici / Alamy

16. Or embrace some of the stranger perks of the papacy, like having someone make a life-size chocolate Francis.

OSSERVATORE ROMANO/AFP / Getty Images

17. When he consistently spread a message of acceptance and love through his many interviews and speeches…

Pool / Reuters

18. And began reforming the Vatican bureaucracy.

Osservatore Romano / Reuters

19. When he shocked the world by praying with a disfigured man, and every time thereafter when he prayed with the sick or infirm.

Claudio Peri / EPA / LANDOV

20. When he began to change the way people thought about the papacy and the Catholic Church…

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP / Getty Images

21. And every other time he inspired men and women all over the world, regardless of their faith.

Domenico Stinellis / AP

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