Pope Francis has taken the world by storm with his bold statements, welcoming attitude, and humble acts of kindness since his papacy began in March 2013 -- and everyone is talking about him online.
Pope Francis tops the list of what Facebook's 1.2 billion users are talking about worldwide, and this isn't the first Internet stats list that he's won.
Global Language Monitor's survey also determined that the Pontiff is the most-talked about person of the year online.
The Pope appears to be well aware of the power of the internet and hopes to encourage followers to leverage the web, especially younger believers saying: “To proclaim Christ in the digital era is a special field for the work of the young.”Facebook's list of worldwide trending topics:
- Pope Francis
- Royal Baby
- Margaret Thatcher
- Harlem Shake
- Miley Cyrus
- Boston Marathon
- Tour de France
- Nelson Mandela
Why is the Pope so popular?
Check out some of his most hotly discussed statements here:
Pope Francis has had a busy week at World Youth Day in Rio as he visited his slums and prisons, blessed the Olympic flag and brought three million people to Copacabana Beach for a final Mass on Sunday morning. Now he has made another headline, this time when the pontiff said, "Who am I to judge a gay person?" Read more from The Huffington Post
"And I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God, there is God and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being." Read more from La Repubblica
“The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. " Read more from America Magazine
“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time." Read more from America Magazine
The down-to-earth Pope called for greater austerity from religious figures last week, saying, “It hurts me when I see a priest or nun with the latest-model car. You can’t do this. A car is necessary to do a lot of work, but, please, choose a more humble one. If you like the fancy one, just think about how many children are dying of hunger in the world." The Ford Focus is a compact car with a starting sticker price of just about $16,000. Read more from The Huffington Post
"You know what I think about this? Heads of the Church have often been narcissists, flattered and thrilled by their courtiers. The court is the leprosy of the papacy." Read more from The Huffington Post
“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. " Read more from America Magazine
“Then, Holy Father, creativity is important for the life of a person?” I ask. He laughs and replies: “For a Jesuit it is extremely important! A Jesuit must be creative.” Read more from America Magazine
On his election to the papacy, Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio chose to name himself after Francis of Assisi because the 12th-century saint "is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation," Pope Francis said Saturday. "How I would like a church that is poor and for the poor," he told about 5,000 journalists gathered for an audience with the pope. Read more from the National Catholic Reporter
"Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense. We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us." Read more from La Repubblica