Time magazine listed Pope Francis in its annual "100 most influential people" issue and asked a fellow world leader to write a tribute: President Barack Obama.
"Rare is the leader who makes us want to be better people," Obama wrote. "Pope Francis is such a leader."
Obama lauded the pontiff for his "message of inclusion" and his many acts of kindness, such as "embracing the sick, ministering to the homeless, [and] washing the feet of young prisoners."
The president did not mention any disputes he might have with the Catholic Church, such as on abortion or birth control provisions in the new health care law.