01:31 PM EDT 09/03/2014
Originally posted 01/08/2014 03:30PM
Is it time to start calling him His Happiness?
During his visit to St. Alfonso Maria de' Liguori parish church just outside Rome on Monday, Pope Francis found himself up close and personal with an "actor" from the church's living nativity scene – a lamb! The young animal was carefully placed around the Pope's shoulders, eliciting a massive grin from the religious leader. The lamb is an important part of Biblical imagery, with Jesus sometimes referred to as the "Lamb of God."
Pope Francis was in attendance to celebrate Epiphany, but he also managed to kick off 2014 in a rather big way. Considering the past year he had, during which he was named Time's Person of the Year, we're sure it will be difficult for him to beat his 2013 achievements – but a cute photo with a lamb is a nice way to start.
Originally posted 12/10/2013 03:00PM
Time magazine announced Wednesday morning that Pope Francis is its 2013 Person of the Year, noting, "The septuagenarian superstar is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century. ... He took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing."
Here, too, are 12 other reasons why the newsweekly, which, like PEOPLE, is published by Time Inc., made such a great call.
Originally posted 12/12/2013 08:00AM
Breathtaking images from the moments that had us buzzing this week
Originally posted 12/11/2013 07:50AM
Pope Francis is Time's Person of the Year for 2013, it was announced Wednesday morning.
"He took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing," says the newsweekly, which, like PEOPLE, is published by Time Inc. "The septuagenarian superstar is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century."
What "makes this Pope so important," explained Time, "is the speed with which he has captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church at all. People weary of the endless parsing of sexual ethics, the buck-passing infighting over lines of authority when all the while (to borrow from Milton), 'the hungry Sheep look up, and are not fed.' In a matter of months, Francis has elevated the healing mission of the church ... above the doctrinal police work so important to his recent predecessors."
Originally posted 12/03/2013 11:25AM
If you've ever wondered what Miley Cyrus could possibly have in common with Prince George – aside from a seeming penchant for teddy bears – well … now you have your answer.
Both have made the cut for Barbara Walters's list of the Most Fascinating People of 2013.
Originally posted 11/26/2013 04:40PM
Pope Francis's embrace of a disfigured man made an impact far beyond the Catholic Church, and now, Vinicio Riva, the recipient of that kind act, is opening up about the personal effect it had on him, reports CNN.
"When he embraced me, I quivered. I felt a great warmth," says 53-year-old Riva, who since the age of 15 has suffered from neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition that causes painful growths and tumors throughout the body. His mother and sister were similarly affected.
Earlier this month, Riva and his aunt, Caterina Lotto, traveled from Vicenza, in Northern Italy, to Saint Peter's Square in Vatican City to see Pope Francis speak. Francis approached Riva and kissed and hugged him, placing his hand on Riva's head.
Originally posted 11/13/2013 03:00PM
Originally posted 11/07/2013 11:00AM
It's the photo that has even atheists professing admiration for Pope Francis.
At the end of his General Audience in Vatican City on Wednesday (which had about 50,000 attendees), someone snapped a picture of Francis embracing a man afflicted with neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes pain and the formation of thousands of tumors throughout the body.
In the photos, the unnamed man buries his head in Francis's robes as the Pope puts his hand on his head, an instantly iconic image that went viral almost immediately, disseminated across virtually every social media platform.
Originally posted 03/23/2013 09:00AM
On his first day as head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis woke at 5:30 a.m. and, after morning prayers, returned to the Rome hotel where he spent his last hours as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, to settle his bill of 72.50 euros per night ($93.87). He did so, Holy See spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi tells PEOPLE, "to set a good example."
Was it a first? Perhaps. Already this first New World Jesuit pope has set a number of precedents. For many, the election of Francis, 76, inspires optimism amidst shrinking church membership and sexual-abuse scandals.
Originally posted 03/19/2013 08:00PM
Today, he is the newly installed 266th Pontiff, but 70-some years ago, Pope Francis (previously Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio) was just a boy with a naughty streak.
Sister Martha Rabino, 71 – head of the Colegio de la Misericordia, a Catholic school in Flores, Buenos Aires, where Pope Francis attended preschool – says she's heard all about his reputation as a boy and gotten to know him as an adult.
"All his life he has remained in touch with us," she tells PEOPLE. "He comes spend the afternoon with us twice a year, when he gets all the nuns together and we have tea, and then we take mass."
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!