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A Year of Francis in Quotes

As Pope Francis celebrates the first year of his pontificate today, we look back at some of his most memorable quotes of the last 12 months.

March 2013 – “Brothers and sisters, good evening” – Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is elected Pope and takes the name Francis after St Francis of Assisi

April 2013- In one of his first statements on mission, the Pope referred to his namesake, St Francis of Assisi

“I think of some advice that Saint Francis gave his brothers: preach the Gospel and, if necessary, use words. Preaching with your life, with your witness”

May 2013 – "I would like a Church that is poor and is for the poor" – the Pope speaks out against the unequal distribution of wealth in society

June 2013 – Speaking to Jesuits in June, the Pope described poverty as a scandal.

“I believe that, yes, the times talk to us of so much poverty in the world and this is a scandal. Poverty in the world is a scandal.”

July 2013 – “Dear Young Friends, Go and make disciples of all nations” – The Pope addresses millions of young people on Copacabana Beach in Rio

August 2013 – A week after returning from Rio & World Youth Day, the Pope thanks the Lord for the event in his Sunday Angelus.

“I think we must all thank the Lord together for the great gift which this event was, for Brazil, for Latin America and for the entire world”

September 2013 – In an interview with Fr Antonio Spadaro SJ, the Pope uses the metaphor of a field hospital to explain his vision for the Church.

“I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol & about the level of his blood sugars!”

In the same interview, the Pope is asked ‘Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?’ to which he responds ‘I am a sinner’

October 2013 – The Pope speaks out against the centralisation of the Church and calls for a renewal to pastoral work of priests and people.

“The court is the leprosy of the papacy”

November 2013 – The Holy Father’s first Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium sets out his vision for a church for the poor and of the poor which is ‘bruised and dirty’.

“I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security"

December 2013 – In his Christmas Day Urbi et Orbi, the Pope calls for peace in the Syrian civil war.

"Too many lives have been shattered in recent times by the conflict in Syria, fuelling hatred and vengeance”

“Let us continue to ask the Lord to spare the beloved Syrian people further suffering."

January 2014 – The Pope speaks out against abortion, calling it “horrific” and a symptom of “throwaway culture”

“It is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day,”

February 2014 – In his Angelus address at the start of February, the Pope dedicates the next year to consecrated life

March 2014 – In his General Audience on Ash Wednesday, the Pope reflects on what Lent as a time to change ahead of the Easter season

“Lent helps us and thus we leave behind old habits and the lazy addiction to the evil that deceives and ensnares us”