1. When he greeted the world with a smile and a wave after being named the first Jesuit pope in history...
2. And then went to the hotel where he'd been staying during the conclave to pay his bill before moving into the Vatican.
3. When he met with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI after his election.
4. When Pope Francis called the pope emeritus "brother" and the two leaders prayed together.
5. When he cast off the elaborate trimmings of the office of the papacy in favor of simpler dress.
6. Each and every time he refused to be treated as though he were different from other priests.
7. When he broke with tradition and washed the feet of two young women and two Muslims on Holy Thursday.
8. Whenever he made friends with animals...
9. Following in the footsteps of his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi.
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.
11. And when he solidified his youth appeal by taking this amazing selfie.
12. When he refused to send away a child who ran onto the stage at the Vatican to be near him...
13. And every other time he displayed his happy, easy rapport with the younger members of the Catholic Church.
14. When he advocated peace to powerful world leaders like Vladimir Putin.
15. When he wasn't afraid to get a little silly...
16. Or embrace some of the stranger perks of the papacy, like having someone make a life-size chocolate Francis.
17. When he consistently spread a message of acceptance and love through his many interviews and speeches...
18. And began reforming the Vatican bureaucracy.
19. When he shocked the world by praying with a disfigured man, and every time thereafter when he prayed with the sick or infirm.
20. When he began to change the way people thought about the papacy and the Catholic Church...
21. And every other time he inspired men and women all over the world, regardless of their faith.
Ellie Hall is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. Her secure PGP fingerprint is 6055 A264 DADD AADC 347E 5986 547C C11C DD7D 176A.
Contact Ellie Hall at email@example.com.
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