As we move into another year, we have a lot to look back on. We saw the passing of Nelson Mandela, the American government shut down, the Chinese landed on the Moon and Edward Snowden became hide and seek champion of the world. Twelve months have passed and there are seven billion people on the planet, stuff was bound to go down. But as we look back on 2013, one moment stands out for me.

Ever since 1927, as the end of the year approaches, TIME Magazine bestows the title “Person of the Year” on an individual of great importance. Previous winners of this magnificent title include Gandhi, Adolf Hitler, Martin Luther King Jr, Vladimir Putin, and Barack Obama. Sometimes people get the award for nefarious reasons, other times the winner has made a positive impact in the world. Personally, I prefer the latter. I think that Hitler bloke was a bit of prick to be honest.

It is nice when you see someone get recognised for being a force for good in this world and in 2013, TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year has gone to Pope Francis.

Person of the year Pope Francis

The Catholic Church, even today, is a truly colossal body of tremendous power. And I think it is fair to say that lately, the Church has been struggling with its image having been plagued by a number of scandals. The Catholic Church was like a pretty exclusive and fierce members club; sure you could join, but if you weren’t straight or a true believer, you might as well go straight to hell.

At a time when the church was in its moment of greatest need, Pope Francis enters the scene. Effectively he is like Obi Wan Kenobi, their only hope (to use a high level of hyperbole). Here are a few reasons why Pope Francis is 2013’s Person of the Year.

He sneaks out of the Vatican at night dressed as a regular priest to feed the homeless. While he is very much seen as a Pope that cares for the poor, this is pretty incredible and awesome.

Not only did this Pope own a Harley Davidson motorcycle, what a megadude, he auctioned off the aforementioned bike to raise money for the homeless.

He is trying to open up the church to everyone. He refuses to shun atheists or homosexuals saying, “who am I to judge?” and that any person who seeks to do good should be seen as a good person, regardless of background.

He criticised the church’s obsession over abortion, gay marriage and contraception stating that they too often put dogma before love and prioritised moral doctrines over serving the poor and marginalised.

He was in this selfie.

Pope Francis selfie

I can’t help but admire the man. Some people may say it is easy to say the right things, but it’s nothing without action. To these people I say that being the head of such a large and powerful organisation with a reputation for being outrageously stubborn and staunch in their opinions, to come out and say the things he has said is like a seismic event. Don’t forget, the church is friggin massive; you try doing a three point turn in an oil tanker.

The world too often glorifies individuals from the worlds of celebrity or sport. Look at what Kim Kardashian is wearing this week, what a revolutionary. Oh good, another footballer is getting paid what I will earn in a lifetime in his monthly paycheque. Hey hey, Justin Bieber released another album, I bet it will be better than anything Queen ever did…

So this is a tribute to the Person of the Year, we need more people like you in the world. Jolly good show old chap, maybe you could give that Bieber fellow a little guidance?

Join our tribe

We promise to pop a whole host of good stuff into your inbox every Wednesday to brighten up your week. Can't say fairer than that now can we?

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.