(VATICAN CITY) - One year ago today, tens of thousands of people stood under umbrellas in a rainy Saint Peter's Square, waiting to find out who would be the next Pope.
They saw Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a cardinal from Buenos Aires, Argentina, step onto the loggia at Saint Peter's Basilica.
It was one year ago today Pope Francis was elected to lead the world's one-point-two billion Roman Catholics and in that time he's become one of the most recognized people in the world.
"It's been fun, it's been exciting, but it's also been full of surprises and that's good because it shows that the Church is alive," said Greg Burke, Vatican Communications Advisor.
The Pontiff has been praised for his compassionate attitude, his efforts at inclusion, and his embrace of the poor.
And while he has stuck to the tenets of the church - opposing abortion, contraception and gay marriage - he enjoys enormous popularity.
The images of him paying his own hotel bill and washing the feet of young prisoners have endured him to the faithful.
"After one year I think it's a door wide open finally, I think my fingers crossed that it keeps going as wonderfully," said Mary Nebel, a tourist from New York.
Beyond the church, he is admired as well.
In the past year, the 77-year-old Pontiff has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. He's been named Time Magazine's Person of the Year. He's even been on the cover of Rolling Stone.
And he's embraced technology across accounts in nine languages, he has 12 million Twitter followers.
"The anniversary is not being marked in any official way in keeping with his preference to forgo pomp and ceremony.
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