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Pope Francis: Favourite Photos from Year 6

Kristina Glicksman

March 13, 2019
Pope Francis attends the World Youth Day welcoming ceremony and gathering with young people at Santa Maria la Antigua Field in Panama City Jan. 24, 2019. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
(Credit: CNS/Paul Haring)
6 years ago today, Catholics gathered in front of computer and television screens for their first glimpse of the man who would succeed Benedict XVI as pope. Amidst cheers from the crowd in St. Peter's Square, we caught through the camerlengo's Latin a last name: Bergoglio.
But there was no time to find out who this Bergoglio was because soon Cardinal Tauran was announcing what we wanted to know even more (and perhaps had been taking bets on): qui sibi nomen imposuit (who takes the name)....Franciscum!
Pope Francis. It seemed strange at the time. And it took people a while to stop saying "Pope Francis I". But how quickly this unfamiliar face from Argentina became a part of our lives.
In honour of the sixth anniversary of this historic occasion, here are some of my favourite photos from the past year in the life of our Holy Father.

Happy Anniversary, Pope Francis!

Silhouette photo of Pope Francis taken as he arrived to lead the Way of the Cross outside the Colosseum in Rome March 30. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
(Credit: CNS/Paul Haring)
 
As usual, it's been a busy year for our pontiff. As well as meetings public and private,  he's led the Church through a Synod of Bishops...
Pope Francis leaves at the end of the final session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct. 27. (CNS photo/Fabio Frustaci, EPA)
(Credit: CNS/Fabio Frustaci, EPA)
 
Pope Francis talks with Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops, before a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct. 11. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
(Credit: CNS/Paul Haring)
 
...a World Youth Day in Panama...
Pope Francis blesses the crowd with the monstrance during the World Youth Day prayer vigil at St. John Paul II Field in Panama City Jan. 26, 2019. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
(Credit: CNS/Paul Haring)
 
...and a sexual abuse scandal that continues to rear its ugly head.
Pope Francis prays in front of a candle in memory of victims of sexual abuse as he visits St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral in Dublin Aug. 25. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
(Credit: CNS/Paul Haring)
 

I think this is one of the most moving photographs of the year.

Remember Alfie Evans? His parents fought, and lost, a battle to keep him on life support in England. Here, Alfie's father meets privately with Pope Francis.
Tom Evans, father of the seriously ill child Alfie Evans, kisses Pope Francis' hand during a private audience in the Domus Sanctae Marthae at the Vatican April 18. Evans pleaded for "asylum" for his son in Italy so he may receive care and not be euthanized in England. Italy granted asylum April 23. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
(Credit: CNS/Vatican Media)
 
And who can forget this moment of tenderness which reminded us that along with his authoritative, administrative, and diplomatic responsibilities, the pope is first and foremost a spiritual father?
Pope Francis embraces Emanuele, a boy whose father died, as he visits St. Paul of the Cross Parish in Rome April 15. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
(Credit: CNS/Paul Haring)
And although a picture is worth a thousand words, sometimes you just need a video: watch it here. But make sure to locate your tissues first.
 
For all the images of Pope Francis embracing, shaking hands with, signing documents with, or exchanging gifts with other religious leaders, it is this candid moment from the prayer meeting in Bari last July that I believe best expresses the spirit of ecumenism and encounter that Pope Francis leads us into.
Pope Francis talks with Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II of Antioch as they leave the Basilica of St. Nicholas in Bari, Italy, July 7. The pope was meeting with leaders of Christian churches for an ecumenical day of prayer for peace in the Middle East. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
(Credit: CNS/Paul Haring)
 

And what about unity within the Catholic Church?

So often warring factions within the Church use one pope or the other as a rallying point. But this photo is a good reminder that they both encourage us to love and unity. The camera here has captured a beautiful expression of mutual affection and respect.
Retired Benedict XVI and Pope Francis exchange greetings at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery after a consistory at which Pope Francis created 14 new cardinals at the Vatican June 28. The new cardinals came to greet Pope Benedict. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
(Credit: CNS/Vatican Media)
 
And in this touching photo from the Feast of the Epiphany earlier this year, Pope Francis reminds us of the source of our unity.
Pope Francis reverences a figurine of the baby Jesus at the start of a Mass marking the feast of the Epiphany in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Jan. 6. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
(Credit: CNS/Paul Haring)
 

Pope Francis is a man on the move.

Sometimes it seems like every time I turn around he's flying off to somewhere else for an intensive few days of meetings and greetings and speeches. I am constantly amazed by the energy of this 82-year-old man!
Pope Francis is pictured on a cell phone video with Vatican spokesman, Greg Burke, as he greets journalists aboard his flight from Rome to Vilnius, Lithuania, Sept. 22. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
(Credit: CNS/Paul Haring)
 
Pope Francis blesses a woman as he arrives for his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Feb. 27, 2019. (CNS photo/Yaraara Nardi, Reuters)
(Credit: CNS/Yaraara Nardi, Reuters)
 
Pope Francis gestures as he greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican March 28. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
(Credit: CNS/Paul Haring)
 
In an interview for a S+L original documentary commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Pierre Morissette says of Pope Francis:

"Il respire la joie."

He breathes joy.

I see what he means.
Pope Francis smiles as a papal security guard holds up a baby during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 18. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
(Credit: CNS/Paul Haring)
 
Pope Francis waves during his pastoral visit in Alessano, southern Italy, April 20. (CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters)
(Credit: CNS/Max Rossi, Reuters)
 

And last but not least...

In December, S+L producer Sebastian Gomes had the opportunity to interview Pope Francis for his forthcoming documentary The Francis Impact (find out more HERE).
 

Thank you, Holy Father, for another great year!