South Floridians Inspired by Pope Francis

In March, Pope Francis took the name of the patron saint of the poor and started preaching humility and calling for a more open and healing Catholic Church.

By Diana Gonzalez
|  Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013  |  Updated 8:39 PM EDT
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Time magazine’s Person of the Year is Pope Francis. Time's managing editor Nancy Gibbs announced the pick on NBC News’

Time magazine’s Person of the Year is Pope Francis. Time's managing editor Nancy Gibbs announced the pick on NBC News’ "Today" show on Wednesday. NBC 6's Diana Gonzalez spoke with South Floridians on the magazine's pick.

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The people's Pope, that's how Time magazine describes its person of the year for 2103.

"That's important because the Holy Father wants to speak not only to christians that share his faith but also wants to bring the faith to those outside the church," said Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski.

In March, Pope Francis took the name of the patron saint of the poor and started preaching humility and calling for a more open and healing Catholic Church.

"He's a man of great witness. His words are very inspiring but you also see him live it out in a way that is radical and such a witness to the younger generations that it's possible to live it, " said Michelle Ducker, campus minister at St. Augustine Catholic Church.

Members of the University of Miami Catholic Campus Ministry are trying to follow Pope Francis' example. They collected gifts for all the students at St. Mary's Catholic School in Little Haiti.

"I think Pope Francis has really given us a call to action to really live out our faith and put it out there," said Sabine Delouche, a UM student.

People are touched by the way Pope Francis touches people. In November, a photo went viral of the Pope caressing a man deformed by an illness .

"That really shows we need to be accepting of everyone no matter how they look," said UM student Leslie Ramos.

"I think it's a wonderful opportunity for the world to see how this Pope really has influenced the world and called people to mission," said Sister Michelle, prinicipal at Mary's.

Students there chanted a special message for time's new person of the year today.

"Pope Francis, we love you. Congratulations!"

The vatican spokesman said that the pope does not seek fame or success but if this recognition attracts more women and men to the church and gives them hope, he is happy.
 

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