Age 77. Pontiff, Catholic Church
Francis understand the power of vivid images and decisive actions and symbols. When Francis shuns the lavish privileges of his high office, when he washing the feet of a Muslim woman, when he embraces a man who inhaibts the lonely exhile of hideous disfigurement, he calls to mind words that are related to his legendary namesake, St. Francis of Assisi: "Preach the gospel at all times....and, if necessary, use words." These words speak powerfully to the 88% of American Catholics who approve of his words, and to billions of others worldwide who admire such values.
About Pope Francis
Pope Francis was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Italian immigrant parents. At the age of 21, he fell gravely ill and eventually, he was diagnosed with severe pneumonia and small fractions of his right lung were removed. In March 11, 1958, Francis entered the Society of Jesus and the following day, he takes his first vows as a Jesuit. Two years later, he begins studies of humanity in Padre Hurtado, Chile. Years pass and in 2001, Francis is elevated to a Cardinal. And in 2005, he serves as the president of the Argentine Bishops Conference. Finally, in March 13, 2013, he is elected pope by the conclave of 115 cardinals.