Pope Francis is Time's Person of the Year.
"So much of what he has done in his brief nine months in office has really changed the tone that is coming out of the Vatican," Time managing editor Nancy Gibbs said during the reveal on Wednesday's Today. "He is saying, 'We are about the healing mission of the church, and not about the theological police work that had maybe been preoccupying us.' [He's stood out as] someone who has changed the tone and perception and focus of one of the world largest institutions in an extraordinary way."
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Pope Francis, hailing from Argentina, was elected by the papal conclave in Vatican City in March. He replaced Pope Benedict XVI, who abdicated the position due to his age.
"The Holy Father is not looking to become famous or to receive honors. But if the choice of Person of Year helps spread the message of the gospel — a message of God's love for everyone — he will certainly be happy about that," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told Today in a statement.
Also on the short list for the annual honor were Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Sen. Ted Cruz, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and even Miley Cyrus.
This was the third time a pope has been named Person of the Year. Last year's honor went to President Barack Obama.
Watch the video below for more on why Time chose the Pope and read the full cover story here.
What do you think of the choice?