Vatican City: Holy Francis! Local shops sales rise after new Pope

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Local businesses selling Pope paraphernalia spoke on Thursday about the increase in sales Pope Francis has attracted since becoming Holy Father in March. When asked, a local shop owner highlighted how Pope Francis’ popularity has attracted more tourists and that thanks to him, “things have changed.”

Pope Francis is credited as revitalising the perception of the Roman Catholic Church internationally, with his emphasis on exercising compassion when addressing topics like abortion, gay rights and contraception.

Yesterday, Pope Francis beat Edward Snowden, Bashar al-Assad and gay civil rights activist, Edith Windsor, to be named TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2013. A Vatican spokesperson insisted that the Holy Father doesn’t seek celebrity status but that “If the choice of person of the year helps spread the message of the gospel – a message of God’s love for everyone – he will certainly be happy about that.”

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